TEMPLE - For Melissa Ermis, Monday morning quickly turned into a nightmare.
Her husband, Steve, retired from the Temple Police Department in January 2016 and began helping with funeral processions in the area a few months later.
"When I leave him for the day, it's always, 'Be careful,' and 'I'll see you later,'" Ermis said. "He always calls me after they're done. That's all I ask is to let me know he's OK."
Tuesday morning, Killeen police said he was T-boned by a car trying to leave the procession. He suffered extensive damages to his right leg and was taken to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Temple.
Melissa said he had surgery on his tibia Monday and his femur Tuesday, adding he'll have another surgery later on before a long recovery.
She said she's still scared, at times, when he goes to help these processions, even after he's left the force. The reason behind the fear is a deeply personal one for Melissa and Steve.
"We had a personal friend, an officer in Temple who died from the same exact thing," Melissa said. "Someone had left the procession and hit him and he passed away."
According to the Killeen Police Department, the driver could only face criminal charges if the incident was intentional. However, they could receive a citation.
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