Crash kills North Carolina officer who just returned from maternity leave

Police in North Carolina are mourning the loss of one of their own after she was killed while responding to a traffic accident Wednesday morning.

According to a news release from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, officers responded to a call in the southbound lanes of I-85 on the east side of the city after a tractor-trailer spilled a load of grain onto the highway.

Shortly after 3:30 a.m. local time, another tractor-trailer heading south collided with a truck cab, causing them to hit multiple CMPD cars, the news release said. 

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The department said Officer Mia Goodwin, 33, was pronounced dead at the scene from injuries she received in the crash. Three other officers were taken to a Charlotte hospital where they were treated and released, CMPD said.

Chief Johnny Jennings said the crash is under investigation and it’s too early to tell if speed was a factor and whether criminal charges will be filed. Jennings said one of the truck drivers remain hospitalized. 

"The profession hurts. The city hurts," Jennings said in a news conference. 

"We are asking for your prayers not just for the Goodwin family but for all the CMPD family and for our great city," he continued. 

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Jennings said Goodwin had been with the department since 2015. She leaves behind her husband, who’s a city firefighter and their three children, all under the age of three years old. She had just returned from maternity leave a few days prior to her death. 

"She was an inspiring young woman who wanted to do more," Jennings added. "She loved the people around her."

A funeral and memorial service is currently being planned. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.