HENDERSON COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Smith County Deputy Regus "Ricky" Bell, 48, was just minutes from his home Tuesday when he was killed in a two-car collision. It happened just after noon on FM 317 in Henderson County, not far from the Moore Station community, where Bell lived.
A witness we spoke with says that someone trying to make an illegal pass came from behind and clipped Bell's truck, causing it to roll several times.
The Smith County Sheriff's Department says Bell had two nephews with him, who were taken by helicopter from the scene. Chief Deputy Bobby Garmon said that this is just a reminder of how fragile life can be.
"One of the deputies just saw him this morning over here getting his hair cut," said Garmon. "When you lose anyone, it's difficult. It don't matter what time of year. When you work in law enforcement, you have to be close, you're like family."
Bell has been with the Sheriff's Department since 2004, and won the Dale Geddie Memorial Award for Peace Officer of the year in 2007.
This is the second Smith County deputy that has been killed this month. Deputy Brandon Bennett died in a one car accident on December 3rd, just hours after winning the department's Rookie of the Year award.