Colleagues of a University of Arkansas at Monticello police officer killed in a highway crash this week described her Thursday as an “inspirational officer” who went beyond daily police work to help struggling students and victims of crimes.
Arkansas State Police said 45-year-old Iciephine Green, a campus officer at the school, was killed in a crash around midnight Tuesday near Pine Bluff after another vehicle crossed the centerline, authorities said.
State police said Green was driving a 2002 Hyundai north on Arkansas 530 shortly before midnight when a southbound 2012 Buick Lacrosse crossed into the northbound lanes and struck her vehicle on a bridge.
Green suffered fatal injuries from the wreck. The other driver, who wasn’t identified, wasn't listed in the report as being injured.
News of the crash has rocked the university community where Green, a Pine Bluff native, worked as a campus police officer for the past three years, as well as multiple other law enforcement agencies for the past 12 years.
“We are deeply saddened by this loss, and I hope you will join me in keeping Officer Green's family in our thoughts and prayers,” said the school’s chancellor Karla Hughes in a statement Thursday.
The school has about seven officers patrolling the roughly 4,000-student campus. News of Green’s death was widely felt within the department, which UAM Police Chief John Kidwell described as tight-knit.
Kidwell said Green, who held a master's degree, could empathize with students’ struggles. He said she was skilled at getting people to open up about their problems, including chemical addictions or being a victim of physical or sexual assault while at college.
“She wasn’t just an officer arresting bad guys,” Kidwell said. “She was an inspirational officer.”
State police noted clear and dry conditions at the time of the crash.
It’s the second fatal crash on the bridge in less than a week.
Last Thursday, 55-year-old Willie Martin Jr. died after his vehicle overturned and fell into the water while traveling over the bridge. Authorities said he died at the scene.
Preliminary figures show at least 73 people have died in traffic crashes since the beginning of the year.
Green’s family requested privacy on Thursday.
Hughes said she’ll announce funeral arrangements when they’re set, adding that the school plans to recognize her service.
Kidwell said that might come in the form of a scholarship in Green’s name.
“The world was a better place with an officer like Officer Green in it,” Kidwell said. “It’s a loss.”