A community is in mourning after a 27-year-old Texas sheriff’s deputy was killed in a tragic car accident with a parked 18-wheeler on a Houston-area highway, authorities said.
Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Adam Howard, a member of his department’s gang unit, was reportedly transporting evidence Wednesday when his marked vehicle struck the rear of the stopped tractor-trailer in the road.
Footage of the crash showed Howard’s patrol vehicle collapsing next to the 18-wheeler in the northbound lanes, a scene so tragic it led the seasoned sheriff’s office to call it a “pretty horrific impact.”
“We are devastated to lose a great teammate described as a workhorse, described as having a great personality, funny and just plain outgoing,” Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said, according to ABC 13. hearts,” he added, surrounded by a row of law enforcement officials.
The 27-year-old is remembered by his peers as a determined leader in his unit, and a co-worker describes his work ethic as: “First in the door…last to leave at the end.” of the night”.
Fighting back tears during his interview with local news affiliate ABC 13, Howard’s partner told reporters how lucky he felt to have had him not only as a partner, but as a best friend.
“Just a phenomenal person. You know, when we prayed together with the crew, we had to thank the Lord for letting us into his life. He was one of those kinds of people,” said Garivey, who has worked alongside Howard for the last three years and, by his own admission, only managed to get out of some sticky situations thanks to his partner.
“My little protector,” Garivery said of his 6-foot-5 companion. “I’ve had some terrible scenes where if it wasn’t for Howard, I wouldn’t be home with my kids.”
While transporting Howard to a nearby hospital, a second accident occurred with another HCSO officer who was riding a motorcycle as part of the escort.
That officer was also taken to a hospital where they were treated for their injuries and are expected to be okay, according to the sheriff.
Howard was treated for his critical injuries at Memorial Hermann in The Woodlands, but was later confirmed to have died there.
Local news station KHOU reported that Howard leaves behind a wife and two young children, a 2-year-old daughter and a 5-year-old son.
The accident remains under investigation by the HCSO and anyone with information is asked to come forward.