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Hero Down: Houston Police Department Senior Officer Vidal Lopez Dies After Train Struck Jeep

Houston, TX – Houston Police Department (HPD) Senior Officer Vidal Lopez died on Dec. 12, 2022, five days after his vehicle was struck by a train.

The collision occurred in the 6800-block of Fulton Street on Dec. 7, 2022, as the uniformed officer was driving his personal vehicle to work at about 7 a.m., KTRK reported.

Witnesses told the HPD’s Vehicular Crimes Division that the 42-year-old officer, who was in a black Jeep Wrangler, drove around another vehicle at the train crossing and proceeded to go around the crossing gate arms blocking the tracks, according to police.

The oncoming train slammed into Officer Lopez’s Jeep, spinning it and flipping it onto its side, KTRK reported.

He was alone in the vehicle at the time of the crash, according to police.

The injured officer was rushed to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center in critical condition, KTRK reported.

HPD Chief Troy Finner announced Officer Vidal’s death in a tweet on Dec. 12, 2022.

“I am deeply saddened to report that Senior Officer Vidal Lopez passed away peacefully today surrounded by his family,” Chief Finner wrote. “We ask you to pray for Vidal’s family and friends, and respect the family’s wish of privacy during this difficult time.”

Officer Lopez served the HPD for 20 years, according to his obituary.

He was assigned to the agency’s Technology Services Department at the time of his death, KTRK reported.

“Vidal had a heart of gold. He always lent a helping hand out to those in need,” the tribute read. “Even beyond death, Vidal is still helping others. He not only was an organ donor, but also donated his tissue.”

Officer Lopez leaves behind his wife, Maritza, and his unborn daughter, Emma.

He is also survived by his parents and his two brothers.

Officer Lopez was laid to rest on Dec. 19, 2022.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Houston Police Department Senior Officer Vidal Lopez, 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.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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