Houston police officer killed in traffic accident www.privateofficer.com
Houston TX May 30 2011
A Houston police officer was struck and killed by a suspected drunken driver early Sunday while investigating an accident on the North Loop near Yale.
The 38-year-old officer, Kevin Will, died at the scene, Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland said. Will was a father of two children, ages 6 and 10, and his wife is 6 months pregnant with their third child, the chief said.
The driver, 26-year-old Johoan Rodriguez, is in jail, charged with intoxication manslaughter of a peace officer, felony evading and possession of a controlled substance. Police identified the substance as cocaine.
In addition, Immigration and Customs Enforcement is investigating his citizenship status.
Will joined the force in 2009 and would have celebrated a year in the vehicular crimes department on Sunday.
“At this morning’s roll call, (Will) announced to his comrades that today was his one-year anniversary in Vehicular Crimes, and he made a joke that he’s been here a year, so does that qualify him to be a veteran or is he still a rookie?” McClelland said. “He loved his work and gave his life to this city trying to keep it safe.”
Will was interviewing a witness to a hit-and-run accident when a Volkswagen, traveling east on the North Loop, drove around a barricade and hit the officer about 3:15 a.m. The freeway was blocked at the time of the accident, and the lights on police cars were flashing.
“Officer Will and other witnesses at the scene who were inside the barriers had no expectation that someone would drive around that or drive through that,” McClelland said.
As the vehicle sped through the barrier, Will yelled at the witness to “get out of the way,” the chief said. “The witness had no time to look around or react, except to leap over the concrete barrier that divides the freeway. According to him (witness), he heard the impact before he hit the ground.
“He credits Officer Will with giving him the prior warning of getting out of the way,” McClelland said. “It actually saved his life, or he said, he would have been struck with Officer Will.”
The officer’s death is tragic, even more so because it falls on the Memorial Day weekend, the chief said.
“On such an important weekend, we highlight all the men and women who wear uniforms, U.S., foreign and domestic, who dedicate themselves to service,” McClelland said. “It also highlights the urgency of people not to drink and drive, and to get Harris County out of this unwanted category of being one of the leading counties with fatality accidents where drivers involved are impaired.”
Will is the first officer to die in the line of duty in a little more than a year.