Rice University officer killed in 2-car crash on North Fwy near Beltway

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TxDOT says a person has died after a crash on North Freeway northbound near Gears Road.

A Rice University police officer was killed in an accident Thursday night in Houston.

Houston police were called to the fatal crash on the northbound lanes of I-45 North Freeway at Beltway 8.

Detective Rommel Espinola, 48, died as the result of injuries from the accident, Rice University confirmed.

"This is an enormous loss for the Espinola family and for the RUPD family," Rice Police Chief James Tate said in a statement. "Rommel was respected and loved by his fellow officers. We miss him already.

Espinola, a nine-year veteran of the Rice University Police Department, is survived by his 9-year-old son.

Funeral services are pending.
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