A Taylor County Sheriff’s Department deputy was killed when his pickup crashed into an 18-wheeler, leaving his 6-year-old granddaughter injured in the crash Tuesday.
50-year-old Deputy William Woodruff was pronounced dead on the scene of the accident which happened at approximately 7 p.m. on Highway 277 north of Abilene near the Taylor/Jones County line.
According to DPS, a Mack Truck driven by David Lowewenstern, 60, tried to cross the northbound lane of Highway 277. Lowewenstern stopped in the median, leaving the trailer of his truck blocking north bound traffic, to allow south bound traffic to clear.
Deputy Woodruff’s pickup then crashed into the left end of the trailer.
Investigators believe Deputy Woodruff didn’t see the trailer in time to avoid the collision due to limited visibility. Blowing dust was heavy in the area at the time of the accident.
Also in the pickup was a relative of the deputy, 6-year-old Ann Marie Woodruff. She was transported to Hendrick Medical Center in critical condition.
Lt. John Cummins with the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office released the following statement Wednesday morning:
“The Taylor County Sheriff’s Office mourns the loss of Corrections Officer William L. ‘Bill’ Woodruff, killed in an automobile accident last night north of Abilene. Woodruff began his career in April 2011 as a ‘floor officer’ in the county’s detention center. He was recently assigned as an officer on the Precinct 3 inmate workcrew.
“Sheriff Ricky Bishop said Woodruff’s family is ‘in the thoughts and prayers of this office,’ and that his (Woodruff’s) granddaughter who was also injured and is being treated in a Fort Worth hospital ‘needs all the prayers she can get, now.’”
“The death of Bill Woodruff is not only a loss for this agency,” Bishop said, “but for area law enforcement as well.”