Deputy hurt when truck drove through scene on I-10 pushed other victim out of the way, sheriff says

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez described it as a "very scary situation." The deputy and two other men involved are expected to survive.

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Thursday, January 11, 2024
Deputy and 2 men hit by truck on I-10 expected to survive: Sheriff
A Harris County sheriff's deputy and two other men were hurt when they were struck by a work truck that drove through a crash scene on I-10.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- A Harris County sheriff's deputy and two other men are recovering in area hospitals after they were struck by a work truck that drove through a crash scene on I-10 East Freeway on Thursday morning, according to Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.

Gonzalez described it as a "very scary situation."

The deputy arrived to the scene of a minor crash between an SUV and another vehicle in the 16400 block of I-10 East Freeway at 6:48 a.m., Gonzalez said. The cars were stopped along the inside shoulder of the freeway, so the deputy positioned her vehicle to partially block the crash scene.

The deputy and the two men involved in the crash got out of their vehicles and were standing in the shoulder.

Just a few minutes later, at 6:54 a.m., Gonzalez said a large work truck, which was hauling a bobcat on a gooseneck trailer, struck the deputy's patrol vehicle and drove through the crash scene, striking the three victims.

Gonzalez said the driver of the work truck stayed at the scene and didn't show any signs of impairment.

The deputy and one of the men were taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital via ambulance. Life Flight attempted to transport them, but the visibility was poor due to a Dense Fog Advisory. Still, Gonzalez said Life Flight crews treated them at the scene and rode in the ambulance.

The third victim was taken to a different area hospital via ambulance.

The 38-year-old deputy is said to be in serious but fair condition and she is expected to survive her injuries. Gonzalez said she has at least one broken bone and other injuries to her legs, but she is alert in the hospital.

The other man taken to Memorial Hermann has more serious injuries from the chest down, Gonzalez said -- primarily broken bones. He is expected to survive, though he may have a longer recovery time.

The third victim who was taken to another hospital is in good condition and is expected to survive, officials said.

The HCSO deputy hurt in the crash joined the department in 2010 as a detention officer and became a deputy in 2014, according to Gonzalez. The department did not immediately release her name.

"I definitely want to commend her for her swift actions... She was able to push the individual out of harm's way. And while he still sustained injuries, [the deputy] perhaps spared him from death. Because, while he does have serious injuries, he didn't receive a direct impact," Gonzalez said. "And we do have evidence to support that she was able to push him out, putting her life in danger. Again, she was also struck. Thankfully, she was wearing her body armor. It's pretty severely damaged from the impact."

Gonzalez said the deputy was dragged 75 to 100 feet away from the point of impact.

The investigation is still underway, but Gonzalez said speed may have been a factor because the work truck driver had just come off an overpass and was traveling slightly downhill. He said the fact that the truck was pulling a heavy load also made the impact more severe.

No charges have been filed at this time.

All eastbound traffic on I-10 at Cedar Lane was closed. Drivers were being diverted to the feeder at Sheldon Road, Gonzalez said. Drivers can take Highway 90 as an alternate route.