A 27-year-old deputy was killed on Wednesday, May 11, after he crashed into the back of a parked 18-wheeler, a Texas sheriff said.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez announced Wednesday the death of Deputy Robert Adam Howard, a husband, and father to two young children.
“Our hearts are broken,” Gonzalez said as he announced Howard’s death outside a Houston hospital.
What caused the crash?
The crash occurred Wednesday afternoon on Texas 249, as Howard was tagging evidence related to his job within the department’s gang unit, Gonzalez said.
He was getting ready to begin an operation when he clipped the backside of an 18-wheeler parked on the shoulder of the road, according to the sheriff.
Video from KTRK shows Howard’s cruiser was split in half.
Howard showed “no signs of life” soon after the crash.
“It was a devastating impact. It seemed like it happened pretty quickly,” Gonzalez said of Howard’s death.
It’s unclear if the driver of the 18-wheeler was in his truck at the time of the crash. The sheriff said the driver was not blocking traffic.
Who was Robert Adam Howard?
Howard is survived by his parents, wife, and two children — ”a 2-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son,” Gonzalez said.
A native of Harris County, Howard “stumbled into” a career as a police officer, his father told KHOU. Robert Howard described his son as a “momma’s boy” who “always wanted to be around family.”
Gonzalez said the last thing the deputy did before he left for work Wednesday was to play with his daughter.
“We’re devastated that we’re losing such a great teammate, described as a workhorse, described as having a great personality, funny and outgoing,” Gonzalez said.
His best friend and partner, Raymond Garivey, said Howard “was a fantastic person” and that he “loved putting bad guys in jail.”
“Not only is it a loss for the family, (but) for the citizens of Harris County,” Garivey told KHOU. “We need police officers like my boy Howard. Just a phenomenal person. You know we prayed together earlier with the crew, you know we had to thank the Lord for allowing us into his life. He was just one of those types of people.”