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Hero Down: Harris County Deputy Robert Howard Killed In Crash

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.

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.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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