Fellow officer 'unsure' about recovery of Tigard policeman hurt in crash
A longtime co-worker of 39-year-old Matthew Barbee, a Tigard police officer hurt in a crash, said Friday that his colleague remains in critical condition.
“At this point, we are unsure as to when and if Matt will make a recovery from this horrific accident," Jeff Hering, a detective for the Tigard Police Department, said during a news conference at Legacy Emanuel Hospital.
Investigators said the driver who hit Barbee is not under arrest, though prosecutors are considering whether to file charges.
Barbee's wife, Sherrie, said she couldn't ask for a better husband.
“Matt is one of the most kind-hearted people I know," Sherrie said. "We have three wonderful children. He's a great father. He's a teacher to them. He's always teaching them new things. He loves people. He loves to socialize. He loves to give back to the community."
Investigators said around 1:30 a.m. Thursday Barbee had just got off work and was driving home on Highway 26.
Hering said Barbee had car trouble near the Cornelius Pass exit.
"Matt pulled off the highway, called a friend to help him and got back into the vehicle when he was struck by another motorist," Hering said. "The impact caused severe trauma to his neck and head. Matt is in critical condition as we speak."
Hering and Officer Nick Nunn said they've known Barbee throughout his 11 years with the Tigard Police Department.
"He's just a beloved member of our agency, very well-liked throughout our agency. He had a kind-hearted soul," said Hering.
"He does a lot of funny things," said Nunn. "I think almost everybody from our department has some story about Barbee and something kind of quirky that he's done."
Hillsboro police and an interagency group are investigating the crash.
A Hillsboro police spokesman told KATU the other driver stopped and is cooperating. He said alcohol was in the driver's car but it's unclear if any was in his system.
Sherrie said she and Matt have been married for 19 years.
"He would give you the shirt off of his back. He loves animals. We have a farm. He just recently brought home five pigs despite me asking him to only bring home two," Sherrie said. "He's a great man."
You can help Barbee and his family by donating here.