Harris County, TX – Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) Deputy Robert Howard died in the line of duty on Wednesday after he crashed into the back of a parked tractor-trailer.
The 27-year-old deputy was transporting evidence pertaining to a criminal case when he collided with an 18-wheeler parked on the left shoulder of the Tomball Parkway near Spring Cypress Road at approximately 2 p.m. on May 11, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
“For unknown reasons, our deputy operating the vehicle veered slightly into the inside shoulder of 249, and unfortunately the front driver’s side of our police Tahoe impacted the rear passenger side of the parked semi-trailer,” HCSO Vehicular Crimes Division Lieutenant Simon Cheng told KRIV.
“The deputy sustained serious injuries on scene. Unfortunately, his vehicle after hitting the semi-trailer also bounced into the second-from-inside lane and struck a Chevrolet Silverado,” Lt. Cheng said.
A KTRK helicopter reported seeing a portion of the demolished patrol vehicle still attached to the back of the semi-truck in the wake of the collision.
Deputy Howard was rushed to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told KTRK.
“It was a pretty horrific impact,” Sheriff Gonzales said during a press conference outside Memorial Hermann on Wednesday, according to KSAT. “Our hearts are broken.”
“We’re devastated that we’re losing such a great teammate described as a workhorse, described as having a great personality, funny, and just outgoing,” the sheriff continued, according to KTRK. “We have a lot of heavy hearts.”
Deputy Howard served with the Harris County Precinct 5 Constables Office prior to lateraling into the HCSO in August of 2019, KPRC reported.
He was a member of the sheriff’s office’s Violent Gang Suppression Unit.
Deputy Howard leaves behind his wife, his two-year-old daughter, and his five-year-old son, KPRC reported.
He is also survived by his parents and his sister, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
Sending condolences to the Harris County Sheriff's Office. Deputy Sheriff Robert Howard, age 27, lost his life while on duty May 11, 2022. His patrol car struck the back of a tractor-trailer parked on the shoulder of the road. Deputy Howard is survived by his wife and 2 children. pic.twitter.com/ysoQ06Y5Yo
— Midland Police Department (@MidlandTxPD) May 12, 2022
We offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Deputy Robert Howard of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. He lost his life after a collision on Wednesday. Our hearts are with our brothers and sisters in public service during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/rSeDbYuImU
— MCHD_TX (@MCHD_TX) May 12, 2022
We held a cordon of honor and escort for our teammate, Deputy Robert Howard. He lost his life today after a fatal collision. An investigator in the Violent Gang Suppression Unit, he is survived by his wife and two young children. Please keep him and his family in your prayers. pic.twitter.com/ed0madwxvq
— HCSOTexas (@HCSOTexas) May 12, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Harris County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Robert Howard, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.