Deputy Sheriff Jesse Valdez, III
Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Texas
End of Watch: Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Tour of Duty: 11 years
Badge Number: Not available
Cause of Death: Vehicular assault
Date of Incident: October 28, 2014
Weapon Used: Automobile; Narcotics involved
Suspect Info: Arrested
Agency Contact Information
Sheriff Adrian Garcia
Harris County Sheriff’s Office
1200 Baker Street
Attn: Family Assistance Unit
Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (713) 755-8461
Deputy Sheriff Jesse Valdez was killed when his patrol car was struck head-on by a SUV at the intersection of East Wallinsville Road and Honeysuckle Street.
He was en route to conduct a welfare check when the SUV crossed the center line and struck his patrol car head-on. The patrol car was pushed into a ditch and Deputy Valdez was trapped inside. Rescue crews extricated him from the wreckage and transported him to Memorial Hermann Trauma Center where he succumbed to his injuries at approximately 1:00 am.
It is believed the driver of the vehicle was under the influence of narcotics at the time of the crash. She was charged with possession of methamphetamine. She had been paroled from prison only three weeks earlier while serving a two year sentence for a previous conviction of the same charge.
Deputy Valdez had served with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office for 11 years. He is survived by his 10-year-old son and mother.
HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — A deputy with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office was killed in a head-on crash Wednesday, and the driver believed to be responsible is in jail.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office has identified the fallen deputy as Jesse Valdez III, 32.
According to the sheriff’s office, the crash happened in the early-morning hours as the deputy responded to a welfare check near Highlands in northeast Harris County. His sirens and flashing lights were off, investigators said.
Authorities said Valdez was traveling eastbound on East Wallisville Road when an oncoming SUV crossed the middle line, hitting the deputy’s cruiser head-on. The patrol car spun into a drainage ditch as the Explorer spun into the center of the intersection.
EMS crews and firefighters extracted the deputy from his patrol car, and Life Flight took him to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
The female driver of the SUV, identified as 29-year-old Kelly Jo Ivey, was transported via ground to the same hospital. She was later taken into custody and placed in jail on drug charges. Further related charges may be filed later, the sheriff’s office said.
At the scene, deputies said they believed Ivey was under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash. A man who was riding with her was treated at the scene and was reportedly cooperating with investigators, deputies said.
The sheriff’s office said the fallen deputy had a 10-year-old son.
"When you lose someone who loved doing what they do, it is never an easy occasion to handle," said Sheriff Adrian Garcia. "Today we lost a young life. An 11-year veteran and most importantly, a single father."
Associates described Valdez as a "good man" who was "easy to work with."
"He was the type of deputy who would do anything for you," said Scott Harp, a tow truck driver. "(He would give the) shirt off his back if he had to. He was a real good guy."
Calvin Rutledge, another person who knew Valdez, agreed.
"I worked with the deputy out here and he was like a hero," Rutledge said. "He came to work with a smile, happy, never (had anything) negative to say about anybody."
Later Wednesday morning, the sheriff’s office revealed more about the suspect’s past. In March, Ivey pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and agreed to a two-year sentence, according to court records. She was released from prison on parole this month, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Ivey also served time behind bars in two earlier theft cases.
A court appearance has been set for Thursday.