Deputy who was conducting traffic stop dies after driver slams into him

The impact of the crash caused Deputy Lorenzo Bustos, 29, to be pushed under the cruiser, causing fatal head trauma

Duty Death: Lorenzo Bustos - [Tyler, Texas]

End of Service: 07/30/2022


By Sarah Calams

TYLER, Texas — A deputy was killed Friday after an alleged drunk driver rammed his vehicle into the officer who was outside of his cruiser conducting a traffic stop. 

Smith County Sheriff's Deputy Lorenzo Bustos, 29, had his cruiser pulled over with its lights activated with two people handcuffed in the back. Bustos, who was standing several feet behind the vehicle, was working the stop with Deputy Michael Skinner, who was inside the vehicle on the passenger side, the Longview News-Journal reported. 

Deputy Lorenzo Bustos.
Deputy Lorenzo Bustos. (Photo/ODMP)

After nearly 30 minutes into the traffic stop, a driver hit Bustos with his vehicle, which was traveling at a "very moderate to fast speed," according to police. Bustos was pushed under the cruiser and suffered severe head trauma. He was transported to a hospital, where he later died from his injuries. 

"He had become to be very loved by all of his cohorts and co-workers. He was doing a great job," Sheriff Larry Smith said, noting Bustos had only been with the department for about six months. 

Skinner was released from the hospital with minor injuries. The driver was arrested and charged with intoxication assault, which was later upgraded to intoxication manslaughter, the Longview News-Journal reported.

The crash is under investigation by the Texas Department of Public Safety. Bustos leaves behind his wife and three children.

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