A Star Editorial
Any way we look at it, it was an unthinkable tragedy.
And today, we continue to mourn the loss of one of our dedicated local protectors.
On July 2, Kendall County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Carlos Ramirez and his partner made a routine traffic stop on westbound Interstate 10 near the Waring exit.
Few details have been released because of the ongoing investigation, but sometime during that early morning traffic stop, Ramirez was struck by a passing motorist.
And he died.
Records show it was the first active duty law enforcement death in our county since 1999. But, that doesn’t help us swallow the tragic events of that day.
As Sheriff Al Auxier so emotionally put it during a press conference one week ago just hours after the horrific incident: “Today, July 2, 2019, will be remembered as a tragic day here in Kendall County and specifically for the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office. Today, we mourn the loss of Deputy Carlos Ramirez.”
First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers go out to the Ramirez family and the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office. We extend our deepest sympathies for your loss.
But secondly, this event never should have happened.
Again, because of the ongoing investigation, we do not know the details of what took place during that split second of time. What we know is that a passing motorist struck and killed Ramirez as he and his partner were handling the traffic stop.
The stopped vehicle was parked well off the westbound I-10 lanes onto the right shoulder, and it appears the driver’s side door was open. But how and why the collision occurred remains unknown.
We must believe it was a tragic accident. We don’t know if it was driver distraction, driver error, auto malfunction or something else. But we do know it shows the dangers law enforcement deal with every day, even if things are “routine.”
When it comes down to it, however, there is nothing “routine” about police work. Dangers lurk everywhere, and as we know, not just at crime scenes. It’s a dangerous and honorable profession that deserves our utmost respect. Today, we salute Deputy Ramirez for his service and dedication to Kendall County law enforcement. May he rest in peace, and may his family, friends and fellow KCSO employees know he died while living his profession.
And, may the tragic events of July 2 serve as a reminder to us all to always use extreme caution when behind the wheel, especially when any potential dangers lie ahead.
Driving is a serious responsibility, and always doing so defensively is paramount. It takes only a split second to change things forever.