MIDLOTHIAN (CBSDFW.COM) — A Midlothian Police officer passed away Monday morning as a result of severe head injuries sustained in a motor vehicle crash last week.

Officer Heather Phares, 22, was off-duty when her truck hit the back of tractor trailer carrying steel in the 2000 block of W US Highway 287 in Midlothian on April 17.

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She had been in critical condition before passing away just before 10 a.m. Monday.

Officer Phares grew up in North Texas, graduating from Mansfield Summit High School in 2009. She fulfilled her calling to law enforcement and was hired by the Midlothian Police Department on Nov. 26, 2012.

“At some point early in her life, she decided she wanted to be a police officer and pursue that and applied with our department,” said Captain John Spann. “She was just the model of what any agency would like to get in a new recruit officer.”

She graduated from the North Central Texas Council of Governments Regional Police Academy on April 12, 2013.

Fellow recruits in her class describe her as “energetic, naturally talented, and wise beyond her years.”

“This hit the department very hard,” said Captain Spann. “Officer Phares was a young, new, energetic officer with our department, but was just very outgoing and loved her job — came in with a smile every morning.”

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Funeral arrangements are pending.

A donation to help alleviate medical bills can be made to the “Officer Heather Phares Donation Fund” at any Wells Fargo branch.

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