CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- A 19-year veteran of Chapel Hill Police Department died in a crash Monday in Chatham County.
Chapel Hill Police Chief Celisa Lehew identified the officer as Mike Mineer.
The crash happened before 4 p.m. on US 421. Investigators said Mineer, 55, was driving an SUV when he rear ended a log truck that was stopped on the highway due to a traffic backup.
Officer Mineer most recently served in the patrol division.
For Joe Sewell, the baseball field in Pittsboro is the only place that can comfort him right now.
"This is where we spent a lot of our time. I got to watch him interact with the kids," he said.
He's known Mike Mineer for years. They coached little league baseball together. He showed ABC11 a photo of their first baseball team together coaching 8 year olds. On Tuesday, he wore a shirt and hat in honor of his friend.
"We decided we liked coaching together. We called it the mustangs. He designed the emblem and logos," said Sewell.
The last time they spoke was Monday morning when he said Mike was taking his 15-year-old son to get his driver's permit from the DMV. When he didn't pick his son up from school later that day, they knew something was wrong.
"I was actually standing at third base last night when I got the call," he said. "He loved his family so much."
According to Sewell, Mineer leaves behind his partner and 15-year-old son. ABC11 was also told Mineer is a native of Kentucky and Army veteran who served as a military police officer before joining the police department in Chapel Hill.
"It's a loss, but we know one day we get to see him again in heaven. I'm looking forward to that," said Sewell.
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