HOUSTON, Tx. - Tragedy hits the Harris County Sheriff's Office. A routine welfare check turned into a fatal crash, killing an on-duty deputy. Just before midnight on October 28, deputy Jesse Valdez III, 32, was traveling east on East Wallisville Road near Oleander and was struck by a westbound Ford Explorer which crossed into the deputy's lane. The deputy was extracted from his vehicle and flown by a LifeFlight medical helicopter to Memorial Hermann Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1 am.
The SUV which allegedly caused the crash, came to a stop just yards away from the deputy's vehicle. The female driver, Kelly Jo Ivey, was also taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital in stable condition. She was charged with possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine. There was also a male passenger who was not injured. He remained on the scene and was questioned by the investigators.
Valdez was a single father with a 10-year-old son. The deputy was also an 11-year veteran of the department, and the 40th Harris County Sheriff's Office employee to die in the line of duty in the 177-year history of the agency. A tragic end to a man committed to serving his community.