Police Officer Justin Scherlen
Amarillo Police Department, Texas
End of Watch: Thursday, August 4, 2016
Tour of Duty: 11 years
Badge Number: 208
Cause of Death: Automobile accident
Date of Incident: September 8, 2015
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available
Agency Contact Information
Police Chief Ed Drain
Amarillo Police Department
200 E 3rd Avenue
Amarillo, TX 79101
Phone: (806) 378-9452
Police Officer Justin Scherlen succumbed to injuries sustained 11 months earlier when his patrol car was struck head-on by another vehicle near the intersection of SW 34th Avenue and Georgia Street.
The collision caused Officer Scherlen to become trapped inside of his vehicle for approximately one hour as rescue personnel attempted to extricate him. He was transported to a local hospital in critical condition. He subsequently underwent numerous surgeries and continuous rehabilitation following the crash. He subsequently suffered a complication and died while on a family trip in New Mexico on August 4th, 2016.
Officer Scherlen had served with the Amarillo Police Department for 11 years and was assigned to the Uniformed Division. He also served on the agency’s Honor Guard and Dive Team. He is survived by his wife and four children.
Edward Drain, Chief of the Amarillo Police Department in Texas sadly reports the death of Officer Justin Sherlen.
Officer Scherlen, 39, was critically injured in a head on patrol vehicle crash September 8th of last year as he was responding to a routine call. The driver of a Jeep Wrangler crossed the centerline of the roadway striking the front and left corner of the patrol vehicle.
Following an extensive extrication process on the early morning of the patrol vehicle crash and a two month’s stay in the hospital, he was released to recuperate at home. He had suffered extensive fractures and soft tissue injuries to his legs, hips and back that left him wheelchair bound as he left the hospital. He has undergone multiple surgeries since his release from the hospital and has endured months of physical rehabilitation during the past year.
On Thursday, he was with his family on a trip in New Mexico when he unexpectedly died during his sleep. An autopsy is scheduled by the County Coroner in New Mexico to determine the exact cause of death. It is presumed that there were complications of his recovery from his patrol vehicle crash.
Although no citations were issued at the time of the crash, the investigation continues to determine why the driver of the Jeep crossed the centerline of the roadway. There has been no mention of any alcohol involvement from authorities.
Officer Scherlen served the Amarillo Police Department for twelve years. He was assigned to the Uniform Division and was a member of the agency’s Dive Team and Honor Guard. He is survived by his wife, Jessica and their four young children.
Officer Justin Scherlen-gone, but never forgotten. EOW: Thursday, August 4, 2016.