Initial charges filed in fatal pursuit involving Rutland City Police Officer

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RUTLAND — Charges have been filed against Tate Rheaume, 20, following a high-speed pursuit in Rutland that resulted in a multi-vehicle collision on Friday.

The crash claimed the life of 19-year-old part-time Officer Jessica Ebbighausen and injured two other police officers.

Rheaume is being charged with grossly negligent operation of a motor vehicle with death resulting, and attempting to elude with death resulting.

The Vermont State Police, in consultation with Rutland County State’s Attorney Ian Sullivan, continues its active investigation into the incident, and additional charges may be forthcoming.

Currently held in the Vermont Department of Corrections on $500,000 bail, Rheaume remains under treatment at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington for injuries sustained during the crash.

His condition is listed as serious but stable. He is scheduled for arraignment at 12:30 p.m. Monday in the Criminal Division of Vermont Superior Court in Rutland.

On Saturday, a procession of nearly three dozen Vermont law-enforcement officers and first responders escorted Officer Ebbighausen’s body from the Vermont Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington back to Rutland, the city she served.

Ebbighausen had been a part-time officer since May 23 and was planning to commence full-time police work next month.

The Medical Examiner’s Office completed Ebbighausen’s autopsy earlier Saturday. The cause of death is blunt force trauma, with the manner of death listed as pending.

Also involved in the crash were Officers Richard Caravaggio and Kelsey Parker. Officer Caravaggio was released Saturday from Rutland Regional Medical Center, and Officer Parker was treated and released on Friday.

Officer Jared Dumas, who was pursuing Rheaume, was not involved in the crash and was uninjured.

The investigation by VSP determined that neither Officer Ebbighausen nor Officer Caravaggio were wearing seat belts at the time of the collision.

In the aftermath of the tragic event, primary law-enforcement services to Rutland were temporarily provided by Troopers from the Vermont State Police and wardens from the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The Rutland City Police Department has since resumed patrols.

Throughout this challenging time, the Vermont State Police Victim Services Unit is providing ongoing support to Officer Ebbighausen’s family.

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