A Harris County sheriff’s deputy has died and another has been injured after two separate crashes on State Highway 249. The crashes occurred on Wednesday, May 11, in Harris County, TX. 

The 2 Deputy Crashes

On Wednesday, May 11, a Harris County sheriff’s deputy was heading northbound on State Highway 249 in his Chevrolet Tahoe SUV. According to police, the 27-year-old deputy was on his way to drop off some evidence at the police station.

At the same time, an 18-wheeler carrying a 40,000-pound load was parked on the shoulder of the highway. The 18-wheeler was not blocking any lanes of traffic. 

Investigators stated that for some unknown reason, the Harris County sheriff’s deputy veered slightly onto the shoulder of the highway and clipped the rear of the 18-wheeler. The impact sent the police SUV into the second-from-inside lane of traffic and hit a Chevrolet Silverado. 

The sheriff’s deputy was escorted to a nearby hospital in critical condition. He died later at the hospital from his injuries. It is unclear whether the driver of the 18-wheeler and the driver of the Chevrolet Silverado were injured at all in the crash.

Another Harris County sheriff’s deputy was injured on his motorcycle during the deputy’s escort. According to the sheriff’s office, the second deputy fell off his motorcycle on I-45. The second deputy was taken to a nearby hospital in fair condition.

Once emergency crews cleared the scene of the crash, a procession was formed to take the 27-year-old deputy’s body to forensic services. The deputy leaves behind a wife and two young children.

Safety Tips for Emergency Stops on a Highway Shoulder

While parking on the shoulder of the highway is not the safest option, it can be necessary in case of emergency. If a vehicle suddenly cuts through traffic to reach the shoulder, or does not pull far enough over, it can result in a serious and even fatal crash. In order to make a safe stop on the shoulder of the highway, there are some safety tips you should follow:

  1. Ease off the accelerator 
  2. Signal before changing lanes
  3. Move to the right of the road
  4. Pull as far off the road as possible
  5. Put your parking brake on
  6. Call for help as soon as possible
  7. Stay in your car until emergency services arrive unless it is on fire or flooding
  8. Don’t exit your car until traffic is stopped or completely clear
  9. Exit away from traffic if possible
  10. Stand as far away from the road as possible
  11. Make yourself visible to other drivers

The highway is fast-paced, with vehicles coming and going from various directions. If you have an emergency and need to make a stop, the shoulder may be your only option. In order to keep yourself as safe as possible, follow the steps above until help arrives. 

Your life is worth too much to risk making dangerous decisions, no matter how important reaching your destination may be. If possible, stay in your car until help arrives, or wait until traffic is entirely clear or stopped before exiting your vehicle. On the highway, your car is the safest place to be because it can offer you protection from other vehicles and debris.

Reach out to your Houston car accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns today to get started on your car accident claim.

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Source: KHOU11, Fox26Houston, ABC13

About Keith Lapeze

Keith Lapeze co-founded Lapeze & Johns with the focus of delivering dependable legal services to individuals hurt in accidents caused by negligence. After graduating third in his class from Louisiana State University Law Center, Mr. Lapeze continued his calling through commercial, environmental, and tort litigation where he is admitted to practice in both Texas and Louisiana, the United States Supreme Court, and the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Read more about Keith Lapeze here.