Deputy seriously injured after slamming into big rig

A Harris County deputy had to be cut out of his patrol car after a crash in north Houston. (Photo by: John Mizwa)

March 9, 2011 3:48:10 AM PST
A Harris County sheriff's deputy was seriously injured in an overnight accident in northeast Harris County. The accident happened on North Beltway 8 near Vickery around 2am. According to investigators, the deputy was heading west on the North Beltway, came over an overpass and suddenly saw an 18-wheeler in front of him in the middle lane. The deputy ran the squad car into the back of the big rig and was soon trapped with two broken legs.

He was freed by the Eastex Fire Department with the Jaws of Life. Although the deputy's injuries are serious, officials say they expect him to recover.

"He did not have time to react and hit that 18-wheeler from behind. It caused severe damage to his vehicle," said S.G. Wolverton with the Harris County Sheriff's Office. "He was trapped in the vehicle approximately about one hour. A rescue crew from the fire department was able to cut him out."

The big rig driver tells authorities he was traveling the speed limit. They believe the deputy was also traveling the speed limit, as well. The accident remains under investigation.

All westbound lanes of the North Beltway at Vickery were closed for several hours, but reopened just before 5:30am.