Hondo, TX – Texas Department of Criminal Justice Correctional Institutions Division Correctional Officer III Kaitlyn “Birdie” Ritnour died in the line of duty on Sept. 3 after being involved in a two-vehicle crash, according to police.
The 23-year-old correctional officer had just wrapped up an assignment at the Ruben M. Torres Unit located at 125 Private Road 4303 and was returning to her regular duty station at the Brisco Unit when she was struck by an oncoming vehicle while merging into traffic, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
Correctional Officer Ritnour suffered severe injuries in the collision and was pronounced dead at the scene.
She had been with the department for just five months.
“Kaitlyn was proud of decision to become a correctional officer for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice,” her obituary read. “Kaitlyn’s life was tragically taken too soon but her legacy of love will live on in the hearts of those she knew and loved.”
Correctional Officer Ritnour leaves behind her parents, Tara and Gene, and her fiancé, Zachariah.
She is also survived by her sister, grandparents, aunt, her three best friends, her three dogs, and many extended family members and friends.
Correctional Officer Ritnour was laid to rest on Sept. 12.
RIP. Texas Correctional Office Kaitlyn Breanne Ritnour was killed in a vehicle crash when returning to her regular unit from an assignment at another unit. #rip #hero #eow #CorrectionalOfficerKaitlynRitnour #TexasDepartmentofCriminalJustice #lawenforcement #thingrayline pic.twitter.com/og0P552dIM
— Protecting the Blue (@protectingblue) September 11, 2022
Honoring Texas Department of Criminal Justice Correctional Officer III Kaitlyn Breanne Ritnour, died September 3, 2022, when her car was struck by an oncoming vehicle as she merged into traffic. Honor her so she is not forgotten. pic.twitter.com/clWi3aPMHb
— Steve Wightman (@stevewightman1) September 12, 2022
Our sympathies are with @TDCJ and the family and friends of Correctional Officer III Kaitlyn Breanne Ritnour who was killed in a vehicle crash while leaving the Ruben M. Torres Unit. #LODD #EOW @ATFHouston pic.twitter.com/6qRypkIwgB
— ATF HQ (@ATFHQ) September 12, 2022
🔹 Blessed Are The Peacemakers 🔹
Correctional Officer III Kaitlyn Breanne Ritnour
Texas Department of Criminal Justice – Correctional Institutions Division, Texas
— National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) (@GLFOP) September 12, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Texas Department of Criminal Justice Correctional Institutions Division Correctional Officer III Kaitlyn “Birdie” Ritnour, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.