Texas deputy killed in crash during severe storms

Deputy Loren Vasquez, 23, began working with the sheriff's office on May 21 and had just completed a 20-week field training program

Duty Death: Loren Vasquez - [Waller County, Texas]

End of Service: 10/31/2018

By Samantha Ketterer
Houston Chronicle

WALLER COUNTY, Texas — A rookie Waller County deputy had been on patrol as a single duty unit for just three nights when she fatally crashed in floodwaters Wednesday night, according to the Waller County Sheriff’s Office

The deputy, identified as 23-year-old Loren Vasquez, was responding to a high priority water rescue call when her vehicle overturned into a ditch, authorities said.

Pictured is Loren Vasquez. (Photo/WCSO/Facebook)
Pictured is Loren Vasquez. (Photo/WCSO/Facebook)

"Words will never express what our office is going thru and we can only ask for your prayers," Sheriff R. Glenn Smith said on Facebook Thursday. "Due to very close family being contacted we are going to wait until early Friday or later today to release details but know that the blue line has heart felt tears on it for our office."

Deputies say that Vasquez was driving northbound on FM 362 near Hoover around 9:50 p.m., when she drove into a water-covered roadway. Vasquez's patrol car became airborne and landed upside-down in a water-filled ditch.

Over the radio, a responding deputy told dispatchers that he couldn't get the doors open because water was rushing in too fast, according to the Montgomery County Police Reporter.

The deputy broke a window before other law enforcement officials arrived on the scene.

"I can't get the doors open. Can you break the window? I've broken a window. I can't get the doors open," officials said to each other over the radio, according to KTRK-TV.

Vasquez was taken to Memorial Hermann Cypress, escorted by a fleet of law enforcement. She died at the hospital, according to the sheriff's office. Her cause of death is pending.

"The Waller County Sheriff's Office is asking for your thoughts and prayers during the coming days and weeks," the sheriff's office said in a statement. "We also respectfully request that you keep Loren's family in your hearts during this difficult time. Information regarding funeral arrangements will be announced when finalized."

Vasquez lived in Waller County with her parents and younger brother. She graduated from Royal High School in Brookshire, west of Katy, and was a member of the Brookshire Volunteer Fire Department, deputies said.

She began working with the sheriff's office on May 21 and had just completed a 20-week field training program.


McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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