Friends of fallen deputy host barbecue benefit

By Samantha Ptashkin - Reporter

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - Friends of a Harris County sheriff's deputy killed this week hosted a barbecue Saturday to raise money for his family.

Jesse Valdez III was killed when a car slammed head-on into his patrol vehicle in the 2300 block of East Wallisville Road in Highlands.

Kelly Jo Ivey was the driver of the other car and is accused of killing him. Investigators believe Ivey was on drugs at the time of the crash.

"It's hard to believe this could happen to somebody that is so good," friend Stephen Rosas.

Friends say Valdez was on a competitive barbecue team called 4 Real Cookers. Their goal is to raise money for Valdez's mother and young son.

"Especially his son because his son was his best friend," Valdez's friend Carlos Hernandez said. "They were real close and we're all going to step up to try and be big brothers to him now."

Valdez's friends say they will continue holding several fundraisers for the family. There is another one scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 2 at Galena Park High School from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Ivey is currently in jail, charged with possession of a controlled substance. Her next court date is Nov. 25.

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