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Crash kills former officer, councilman
Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol troopers Anthony Flores (left) and Joey Lerma conduct their investigation of a multi-vehicle crash March 26 on S.H. 97 that ended in one fatality.
The community continues to mourn in the aftermath of the death of 68-year-old Roger Miller of La Vernia, who was pronounced dead at the scene March 26, following a multi-vehicle crash on S.H. 97 outside Floresville.
Miller, a retired San Antonio Police Department officer, also previously worked as a sergeant with the La Vernia Police Department. He then served as a city councilman in La Vernia before being appointed as an advisory member to the Floresville Electric Light & Power System (FELPS) board of trustees. See obituary, page 11A.
FELPS General Manager Kyle Dicke expressed sorrow over Miller’s passing. He said in a statement, “Mr. Miller had a great impact on the board of trustees, and he represented the city of La Vernia quite admirably. He will be missed, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Miller family.”
Miller had just left from a FELPS board meeting in Floresville when the crash occurred at approximately 8:45 a.m. According to Trooper Anthony Flores, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol, Robert Lazcano, 67, of Sutherland Springs was driving a Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup truck west on S.H. 97 when he attempted to avoid striking a stray dog that was in the roadway.
A westbound Peterbilt semi tractor, driven by 45-year-old James Kemp of Caldwell, which was towing an empty flatbed trailer, was behind Lazcano’s vehicle. The semi struck the rear of the pickup truck, sending it into the path of Miller’s eastbound Honda Ridgeline, with which it collided almost head-on. A fourth vehicle, a Chevrolet Silverado 3500 flatbed truck, being driven by 32-year-old Miguel Ramirez of Devine, grazed the rear of Miller’s vehicle.
Freddy Ortiz and Daniel Gonzales were part of a construction crew at a nearby property when the incident occurred. Both men reported seeing the dog moments before and expressing concern that it would cause a crash. Gonzales said Miller’s truck briefly caught fire after the crash and that he and Ortiz rushed over with a fire extinguisher to put out the blaze.
Lazcano was flown via a Methodist AirCare helicopter to University Hospital, where a hospital spokesman said he was listed in stable condition. There were no other reported injuries.
Officials closed the roadway until just after 1 p.m. as troopers conducted a crash recreation as part of their investigation. In addition to numerous DPS troopers, members of the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, the Floresville Volunteer Fire Department, Wilson County precincts 1 and 2 commissioners, and three units from the Wilson County Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene.
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