Hero Down: Las Animas Co. Sgt. Matthew Moreno Killed In Crash With Woman & Baby
Las Animas County, CO – Las Animas County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Matthew Moreno was killed in the line of duty on Wednesday night, after his patrol pickup collided with two other vehicles as he was responding to a domestic disturbance.
A woman and a one-year-old child were also killed in the collision, and two other Las Animas County deputies were injured, The Denver Post reported.
The incident began just after 8 p.m., as Sgt. Moreno, 37, and Deputy Kenny Lopez, 22, were responding to a report of a possible domestic disturbance.
Sgt. Moreno was behind the wheel of their 2016 Dodge Ram patrol vehicle, while Deputy Trent Gomez, 25, headed to the scene in a 2013 Ford SUV patrol unit.
As the deputies were traveling along Highway 12, they got into a three-vehicle collision with a 2003 Chevrolet sedan that was heading in the opposite direction.
The driver of the sedan, 23-year-old Taelor Roybal, died at the scene.
Roybal’s passenger, one-year-old Ezekiel Valdez, was rushed to Memorial Hospital, where he later passed away.
Sgt. Moreno was transported to Mt. San Rafael Hospital, but was declared dead upon arrival.
Deputy Lopez suffered moderate injuries, and Deputy Gomez suffered minor injuries.
The cause of the collision remains under investigation.
According to the Chronicle Journal, the two-lane section of roadway where the deadly crash occurred winds along the Purgatoire River, cutting through forested areas and ranch land.
Sgt. Moreno, a five-year veteran of the department, leaves behind his wife, two daughters, and one stepson, The Denver Post reported.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Las Animas County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Matthew Moreno, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.