Waller County Texas sheriffs deputy Loren Vasquez was killed last week en route to a high-priority water rescue during storms in the area. She was last heard over the radio saying, “543 en route,” before her car apparently hit a patch of water in the road and went airborne, landing upside down in a water-filled ditch.
Law enforcement arrived at the scene but had difficulty reaching Vasquez in her vehicle. “I can’t get the doors open. Can you break the window? I’ve broken a window. I can’t get the doors open,” said officers on the scene.
Vasquez was eventually freed from the car and taken by ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital – Cypress, where she was pronounced dead. Law enforcement officials paid their respects by escorting her body from the hospital to the medical examiner’s office in Houston.
Vasquez had been an active member of the Brookshire Volunteer Fire Department for seven months before joining the Waller County Sheriff’s Department. She had just completed her 20-week Field Training Program with the department and had only been on the job three nights before the accident.
“I can tell you I interviewed her myself when she first applied, and she told me she wanted to serve the citizens of Waller County proudly,” Chief Deputy Craig Davis told ABC13. “And as cliché as they may sound to some folks, I could see in her eyes and face that she meant every word of it.”
According to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, law enforcement officers have a higher risk of incurring a work-related injury or illness than most other occupations. On average, 115 police and sheriffs patrol officers suffered fatal work injuries each year from 2003 to 2014.
Bureau of Labor Statistics