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Barber, Officer Joselito A.

End of Watch: 
Sunday, August 13, 2006
County: 
King
Agency: 
Seattle P.D.

On Sunday, August 13, 2006 at about 0409 hours, Officer Lito Barber of the Seattle Police Department was on patrol in the George sector of East Precinct when he was struck and killed by a DUI driver.

Officer Barber was traveling north on 23rd Avenue South when he proceeded through the intersection with East Yesler Way on a green light when he was struck broadside on the driver's side by an eastbound GMC Yukon driven by Mary Jane Rivas.  The Yukon was traveling an estimated 80 MPH in a 30 MPH zone when it ran a red light.  Rivas had ingested cocaine earlier. 

Two other patrol cars were in the area heading to a detail in the 1900 block of East Yesler Way when they saw the speeding Yukon just prior to the collision with Officer Barber.

Seattle Fire Department's Station 6 is located across the street and they immediately responded along with the officers who were nearby.  Officer Barber was found unresponsive inside of his patrol car and he was transported to Harborview Medical Center.  Rivas was found sitting in the passenger side front seat.  She said that her friend was driving and had taken off on foot.  Rivas identified herself as Wendy McCool. 

Officer Barber died at Harborview Medical Center.  He had only recently graduated from the academy and had been with the Seattle Police Department for only five months.

Rivas was convicted of vehicular homicide and sentenced to twenty years in prison.He was survived by his fiancée, mother, father, step-mother, brother, and sister.