A Texas deputy was killed in a hit-and-run incident while conducting an off-duty motorcycle escort early Monday.
The crash involving Harris County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Ramon Gutierrez happened shortly before 12:30 a.m., KHOU-TV reports. Gutierrez—who was off duty at the time but was in uniform and had his police motorcycle's emergency lights on—was helping to escort a large load along a service road and had gotten off his motorcycle to block an exit ramp.
That's when the driver of a Hyundai Elantra swerved around Gutierrez's motorcycle before running into the sergeant. The 40-year-old driver—who appeared to be intoxicated, did not stop at the time, but she eventually was apprehended about a mile from the scene of the crash.
Gutierrez was airlifted to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“Anytime we lose a law enforcement hero, it is not just the department that suffers but the entire community’s loss,” said Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.
Gutierrez, 45, was a 19-year veteran with the agency, and he had been assigned to the Vehicular Crimes Division. He is survived by a wife, a daughter and two sons.
“We’re grieving, we’ll get through this,” Gonzalez said. “It is incredibly hard when we lose a public servant that has given their entire life in service to the Harris County community.”
“Family’s grieving, his daughter is set to get married in less than two months,” he added. “There is just no word to describe what they are going through right now. We’re doing everything we can to lift them up in support and prayer as we get through this as an agency and a community.”
The driver was charged with intoxication assault of a police officer and failure to stop and render aid causing serious bodily injury.
Gutierrez's death marks the second consecutive day a Harris County law enforcement officer has lost has life. On Sunday, Harris County Precinct 5 Cpl. Charles Galloway was fatally shot during a traffic stop in southwest Houston.