Texas deputy killed in crash while transporting inmate By:

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By Mitchell WillettsThe Charlotte Observer

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas — A deputy is dead, and another deputy and an inmate were seriously injured after their vehicle collided with a big rig, Texas officials say.

Deputy Charles Rivette was killed in the Feb. 21 crash in Centerville — roughly 120 miles north of Houston, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said on Thursday, Feb. 22.

Rivette was a father and an 18-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, officials said during a news briefing.

Fellow deputy James Francis was behind the wheel, Rivette was in the passenger seat, and an inmate was secured in the vehicle, which was moving southbound on U.S. Interstate 45, officials said.

Deputies were bringing the inmate from Oklahoma back to Montgomery County when their vehicle crashed with a big rig, also heading southbound, according to officials. Two more big rigs then slammed into the patrol vehicle.

Rivette was thrown from the vehicle on impact, the sheriff’s office said. Officials say he landed in the northbound lanes and was hit by a pickup truck.

“We’re hurting right now. It’s the first line of duty death that we’ve had since 1876,” Sheriff Rand Henderson said.

Francis and the inmate survived, but were “seriously injured,” the sheriff’s office said.

Francis — who is married with children — was “awake, stable and talking” as of Thursday morning, officials said at the briefing.

Henderson said Rivette and Francis were “very close.”

“When you spend hours and hours together doing these inmate transports it definitely creates a bond and these two were partners,” he said.

One of the three big rig drivers involved in the crash was injured and taken to a hospital, while the other two were unharmed, KPRC reported.

“This is a fluid and ongoing investigation,” deputies said, adding that the state Department of Public Safety is investigating the crash.

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