Around 6:20 a.m. Wednesday, two Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies were heading to the Sheriff’s Office on the north side of Conroe to pick up a vehicle before heading to their patrol area in East Montgomery County. As they approached the overpass between FM 2854 and SH 105, they spotted a vehicle stopped in the moving lane of traffic. The deputies pulled up behind the vehicle and both got out to assist the motorist. No sooner had they stopped, than the motorist was able to get the vehicle started and began to drive away. As the deputies walked back to their vehicle, a Jeep traveling an estimated 70 miles per hour changed lanes, placing it in the same lane as the marked patrol unit, which had overhead lights activated. Investigators said the 50-year-old driver hit his brakes, and swerved to the right, trying to avoid striking the patrol car. However, the Jeep clipped the right rear of the patrol car with the left front fender of the Jeep. The Jeep’s speed was then at 63 miles per hour, according to the Black Box information on the vehicle, investigators said. The deputy saw the Jeep headed straight for them and tried to push his sergeant out of its path. The deputy was struck by the Jeep, and remained on the hood for nearly 150 yards before he was thrown onto the freeway, according to investigators.
The Jeep also struck the sergeant, but it was more of a glancing blow, and not a full body impact, thanks to the deputy.
Due to weather conditions Wednesday morning neither Life Flight nor PHI Air Medical were able to fly. MCHD transported the deputy by ground ambulance to Conroe Regional Trauma Center in critical condition. The sergeant was also transported in stable condition with no serious injuries. He was treated and released.
As of the last available report before press time, the deputy had undergone successful surgery to repair multiple injuries and his condition was stable, with his condition upgraded to serious. Along with two broken legs and internal injuries, he also suffered a head and back injury.
The driver of the Jeep was taken to Conroe Regional hospital for a mandatory blood draw which was requested by the District Attorney’s Office. That blood draw results were reported to be negative for drugs and alcohol. DPS and the District Attorney’s Office assisted Conroe Police in the investigation, which had the northbound lanes of the freeway shutdown until almost noon.
Both officers are longtime members of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, and have served the residents of East Montgomery County (MCSO District 3) for many years.
(The Deputy was later identified as Robert Layman and the Sergeant is Jack Valenzuela)