BURBANK, Wash. - A Walla Walla Sheriff's Deputy hospitalized from a car crash is now dead. 43-year-old Deputy Michael Estes died Wednesday morning at Kadlec Medical Center.
He suffered severe head trauma when a truck collided with his patrol car on February 6th. But he never recovered. As you can imagine this is a tough day for everyone who knew Deputy Estes.
He never planned to get hit by a truck. And if you're his family you can't prepare for that phone call. All we can do now is grieve and remember.
The crash scene on February 6th was filled with twisted metal when a flat bed truck crashed into Deputy Estes patrol car.
Paramedics rushed him to Kadlec Medical Center. But after a week in a critical condition he never recovered. At 10:30 a.m. he passed away.
"He was a fine officer, he represented law enforcement well. He was part of our family. He will be missed," said Sheriff Mike Humphreys, Walla Walla Sheriff's Office.
Estes was born in Hermiston in 1963. He was a decorated member of the Oregon National Guard. He worked as a corrections officer at the State Penitentiary in 2003. And he got hired as a deputy in 2005.
"He had a man of big stature, good officer presence yet he had the gentleness of a teddy bear," said Humphreys.
Every day Estes stayed in the hospital. Local law enforcement were by his side.
"It's important to send the message to the sheriff's office and the Estes family whatever they need we'll help them get. And we know that that favor will ultimately be returned some day," said Capt. Mike Cobb, Richland Police Department.
Sheriff Humphreys said Estes is the only Walla Walla deputy ever to lose his life in the line of duty. And it will be tough work without him.
"We're strong. We'll work through this and life will go on, but Mike will be missed," said Humphreys.
KNDU also talked with his piers from the Oregon National Guard. They said they're sorry to lose him. He was an outstanding solider and it was a privilege to serve with him.