Sheriff: Family of sergeant killed by intoxicated driver ‘should be planning wedding, not funeral’

HCSO Sergeant Ramon Gutierrez, 45, was struck and killed by a suspected intoxicated driver. (KPRC)

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – Sergeant Ramon Gutierrez, who was struck and killed by an intoxicated driver early Monday, was supposed to be walking his daughter down the aisle in two months. Instead, his grieving family is now planning his homegoing services, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.

Sgt. Gutierrez, 45, was off-duty and working an extra job assisting with monitoring a convoy of oversized machinery on East Sam Houston Parkway N. at Tidwell 12:30 a.m. The veteran law enforcement officer was off his motorcycle and directing traffic when he was struck by Lavillia Spry, investigators said.

According to deputies, the sergeant, who has been identified by Sheriff Ed Gonzalez as Ramon Gutierrez, 45, was on an extra job doing traffic control for a convoy of oversized machinery when he was struck by a female driver, who was later identified as Lavillia Spry, 40.

Spry did not stop after hitting Gutierrez, but was located by deputies a short time later and taken into custody. She exhibited signs of being impaired at the time and has been charged with intoxication manslaughter, failure to stop and render aid, and evading arrest, Gonzalez said.

A veteran of 20 years, Gutierrez served in HCSO’s Vehicular Crimes Division for the last 13 years. Gonzalez said the deputy was a “true professional” who was “loved by many.” He was described as a true family man who married his high school sweetheart and leaves behind a wife, daughter and two sons.

At a news conference Monday afternoon, Gonzalez spoke of how hard it is for Gutierrez’s family to plan the wedding without him.

“It’s hard when you see a family breaking down and their heart broken and their dreams are shattered right before your eyes and dreams unfilled, as I said, with their daughter set to be married soon,” Gonzalez said. “We should be planning a wedding, not a funeral service.”

Gonzalez shared it is also difficult for the sergeant’s comrades, who are now tasked with the duty of investigating his death.

“Team members crying, you know, grown men, professionals who see this on a day-in and day-out basis and handle these type of crash investigations and things like that,” he said. “But to have to be investigating the death of one of their own. It is extremely difficult.”

Gutierrez’s tragedy marked the second death of a Harris County law enforcement officer within 24 hours.

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