Harris County, TX – Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) Sergeant Ramon Gutierrez died in the line of duty Monday morning after being hit by an alleged drunk driver.
The fatal collision occurred on the East Beltway feeder road near Tidwell Road just before 1 a.m. on Jan. 24, KTRK reported.
The 45-year-old sergeant was working an off-duty job as a motorcycle escort at the time of the crash, according to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.
Sgt. Gutierrez got off his motorcycle to block an exit ramp as he helped a heavy load along the service road, according to KTRK.
While he was blocking the ramp, a 40-year-old woman drove around his motorcycle and slammed into him, then fled the scene, according to police.
Investigators said Sgt. Gutierrez had his motorcycle lights activated, was wearing a reflective jacket, and was waving a flashlight in front of the suspect when he was struck, KPRC reported.
The critically-injured sergeant was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The suspect, later identified as Lavillia Spry, was soon apprehended by a fellow deputy, KTRK reported.
Sheriff Gonzalez said Spry displayed signs of intoxication in the wake of the collision.
She has been charged with evading arrest, failure to stop and render aid involving death, and intoxication assault manslaughter, KTRK reported.
Her bond was set at $275,000 on Monday.
Spry’s attorney argued his client should have a lower bond because she just gave birth one month ago, but the judge noted it did not appear she was too concerned about her infant on the night of Sgt. Gutierrez’s death.
Spry posted bond Tuesday and was released back onto the streets, according to KPRC.
Sgt. Gutierrez devoted 20 years of his life to his law enforcement career, KTRK reported.
He spent the last 13 years assigned to the HCSO’s Vehicular Crimes Division.
“Anytime we lose a law enforcement hero, it is not just the department that suffers but the entire community’s loss,” Sheriff Gonzalez told KHOU. “It is incredibly hard when we lose a public servant that has given their entire life in service to the Harris County community.”
The married father-of-three had been working extra jobs recently in anticipation of his daughter’s wedding in two months, his friends told KTRK.
“The scars will be there forever, seared in the family’s hearts,” Sheriff Gonzalez said, according to KHOU. “The father will not be there to walk his daughter down the aisle. You can’t put a price on that.”
Sergeant Ramon Gutierrez was murdered when he was struck by a drunk driver while directing traffic for a heavy load escort. He is survived by his wife and three children. #rip #hero #murdered #endofwatch #SergeantRamonGutierrez #HarrisCountySheriffsOffice #lawenforcement pic.twitter.com/aP1grVoQL1
— Protecting the Blue (@protectingblue) January 25, 2022
It is with heavy hearts we mourn the loss of @HCSOTexas Sgt. Ramon Gutierrez (45). A veteran of 20 years, has served in our Vehicular Crimes Division for the last 13 years. Our thoughts & prayers go out to his wife, three children, his extended family, colleagues & friends. pic.twitter.com/qvF3xsgXtg
— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) January 24, 2022
This morning we are grieving the loss of @HCSOTexas Sgt. Ramon Gutierrez who was fatally struck by a motorist while conducting a motorcycle escort. He served the last 13yrs in our Vehicular Crimes Division (VCD). Please keep his family & friends in your thoughts and prayers. pic.twitter.com/ShgIb7vbFZ
— Chief Mike Lee (@HCSO_LECommand) January 24, 2022
A judge set bond at $275,000 for Lavilla Spry, who is accused of hitting and killing Harris County Sgt Ramon Gutierrez with her car this morning while she was intoxicated. The judge says she’s concerned with safety for the community and Spry’s 4 week old and 15-year-old children pic.twitter.com/7bDkfDOSFa
— Mycah Hatfield (@MycahABC13) January 24, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Harris County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Ramon Gutierrez, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.