In a tragic scene Tuesday night, Harris County Deputy Jesse Valdez III was killed in a head-on collision while he was on his way to a welfare check. Kelly Jo Ivey crossed the center lane and rammed her SUV head-on into the officer’s patrol car. Deputy Valdez’s car spun off the road and landed in a ditch. The patrol car was so badly damaged that police had to use the jaws-of-life device to extricate Deputy Valdez. Sadly, he died that night at Memorial Hermann Trauma Center.
Investigators believe that drug use caused this horrific crash. Officers found three grams of methamphetamines in Ms. Ivey’s SUV and have charged her with possession of meth. Ivey was released from the same hospital into the custody of Harris County Jail.Prosecutors are waiting for toxicology results to determine whether she had meth in her system at the time of the auto accident. If so, she will likely be charged with drugged driving and vehicular manslaughter.
Driver in Deadly Crash Has History of Drug Arrests
year-old Ivey has a long rap sheet filled with drug and theft arrests. Most
recently, Ivey was released from prison just four weeks ago after
serving time for possession of a controlled substance. She pleaded guilty in March and was sentenced to two years imprisonment, but was released early on parole.
Whether Ivey should have received more time under Texas habitual offender
statutes is being heavily debated just days before the midterm
elections. The questions should be focused on how a meth addict is able
to obtain drugs so easily and how can Texas better protect drivers from
drugged and drunk drivers.
I have had to represent many DUI and DWI victims
and their families in my law practice over the past 34 years and witness the devastation
inflicted because of drugged and drunk driving. This Saturday, I am
speaking at and participating in Walk Like MADD, an event that raises money for MADD and honors victims of drunk driving accidents.
The Impact of Drugged Driving
Here, the 11-year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office was described by
colleagues as a stand-up guy and a good friend. In 2013, he received
commendations for saving the life of a man overcome by smoke in a house
fire. Deputy Valdez was also a single father of a 10-year son. This fatality is the perfect example of the devastating ipact of drugged and drunk driving. A young man has lost his life,
his son has lost his father, and the community has lost a brave police
officer. This story angers me.
Have You Been Injured by a Drunk or Drugged Driver?
I am dedicated to helping victims of DUI and their families. Call my Dallas-Fort Worth personal injury law firm at 817-885-8000 or toll-free at 1-888-801-8585 to schedule your free case evaluation if you have been injured in a collision caused by one of these despicable drivers or in any motor vehicle collision.
Also, please join me at the Walk Like MADD event at the Ridgmar Mall this Saturday, November 1st, to support MADD’s efforts to end drunk driving. I am proud to be the Presenting Sponsor of this wonderful event.