Hero Down: RPD Officer Jennifer Diener Dies Nearly One Week After Crash

Holly Matkin

Racine Police Officer Jennifer Diener served her department for 24 years.

Wauwatosa, WI – Racine Police Department (RPD) Officer Jennifer Diener died on Feb. 15, nearly one week after she was injured in a two-vehicle crash as she was coming home from a ski trip with her family.

Officer Diener, 48, was on her way back from a vacation in Colorado with her husband, Brian, and her 15-year-old daughter, Taylor, when the collision occurred on Feb. 9, The Journal Times reported.

The trio had just stopped by Officer Diener’s mother’s residence to pick up their dog, and were within miles of their own home when their vehicle crashed into a second car on Highway 20 near 63rd Drive, according to WTMJ.

“It was a very happy family that left my home on Sunday,” said Officer Diener’s mother, Jean Jacobson. “Within 10 minutes I got the call that there was a bad accident and from then on I kept pinching myself hoping would wake up from this bad dream.”

“They were almost home – two minutes from home,” Jacobson told The Journal Times.

Elizabeth Olszewski, 32, was killed in the crash, and nine others were injured.

The off-duty officer was rushed to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa, where she remained until she succumbed to her injuries at approximately 11:20 p.m. on Feb. 15.

Her husband is recovering from a broken vertebra, and her daughter suffered a concussion.

The exact cause of the fatal crash has not been released, but slick, snow-covered roadways are believed to have been a contributing factor.

“This community and my family to be devastated is truly an understatement,” Jacobson told WTMJ.

Officer Diener, a 24-year veteran-of-the-force, was also an organ donor.

“Jennifer’s legacy is going to really help a lot of people make their dreams come true and to be able to live a much better life,” Jacobson said of her only daughter. “Helping people is a certain calling and she had it.”

Officer Diener was looking forward to her retirement, which was less than two years away, The Journal Times reported.

“The world lost one of its finest tonight,” the fallen officer’s husband said in a statement to The Journal Times. “Jen Diener loved life, loved her daughter Taylor, husband, family, many friends, and co-workers. We will always remember Jen’s laugh, smile, and personality. Thank you for your prayers and support. Be sure to let those close to you know that you love them today.”

Racine Mayor Cory Mason also released a statement in the wake of the veteran officer’s tragic death.

“The City of Racine lost a dedicated public servant, wife, mother, and friend to so many,” Mason said, according to WTMJ. “Our thoughts are with everyone who knew Officer Jennifer Diener.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Racine Police Department Officer Jennifer Diener, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Comments (9)
chessie58
chessie58

Sympathies to Officer Diener's family, friends and co workers. May she RIP.

No. 1-9
Stanracer
Stanracer

RIP Officer Diener. Your life mattered.

VicG
VicG

Condolences to family and department. Rest in Peace Sister...

Vrodgirl
Vrodgirl

Officer Diener, it made my heart hurt to read about you this morning. I made it to retirement with a disability but that is nothing compared to your sacrifice. You are a hero in the truest sense of the word and will not be forgotten.

Buzz17
Buzz17

Tears in my eyes as I read about this tragic accident that took Officer Diener from her family, friends, community, & all who loved her, all whose lives she touched! Those of us who live in snow country know how easy it is for terrible accidents to happen on snow-covered roads, even when drivers are being careful. We'll keep the Diener family, her fellow officers, & friends in our thoughts & prayers now & in the weeks ahead. God bless & hold each of you!

GIJOE62
GIJOE62

As I read about the loss of this beloved mother, wife, daughter and Officer it breaks my heart to hear that this family has lost such a wonderful lady. Officer Diener you will truly be missed, Rest in Peace!🇺🇸

Stopndrop
Stopndrop

Thank you Officer Diener for your years of service. May God bless you, your family, and your fellow officers.

widbill45acp
widbill45acp

God bless your soul my sister.

BoneDoc
BoneDoc

A truly senseless loss of your dedicated life, Officer Diener. We are so indebted to people of your caliber, and cringe when we read such stories of your sacrifice. Thank you so much for a life that truly mattered in every sense of the way. May God meet you and walk you to your eternal home. God Bless You, Ma'am.