Hundreds of law enforcement officers from North Carolina’s largest city gathered on Wednesday for the funeral of a colleague killed last week when she was struck by a semi-truck while responding to an accident.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Mia Goodwin, who died only days after returning to work following maternity leave, was remembered at the service for her dedication to her family, her faith and her job, news outlets reported.
“Mia paid that ultimate sacrifice doing something that she loved to do, and that’s being a police officer,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings told the funeral gathering at First Baptist Church.
Goodwin, 33, died early Dec. 22 when two semi-trucks collided with each other on Interstate 85, authorities said. The collision sent both trucks into Charlotte-Mecklenburg police vehicles that were assisting troopers with traffic from an earlier wreck.
Goodwin died, while three other officers were treated at the hospital and released. A truck driver has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and other counts.
Goodwin, who grew up in Passaic, New Jersey, went to High Point University. There she met her future husband, who is a Charlotte firefighter, according to news outlets. Their three children are all younger than 4 years old. Goodwin joined the Charlotte force in 2015 after a banking career.
Goodwin’s father, Antonio Figueroa, fought back tears as he spoke about her daughter at the funeral: “Thank you for accepting my daughter into your community. She inspired and touched a community that she learned to love.”
The funeral procession began Wednesday morning from a local funeral home. Hundreds of Charlotte-Mecklenburg officers participated in the procession, led by dozens of department motorcyclists. A U.S. flag flew at half-staff from a Charlotte Fire Department truck outside the church entrance.