Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 25 years
Badge # Not available
Cause: Vehicular assault
Weapon: Automobile; Alcohol involved
Offender: Sentenced to 90 years
Chief of Police Ernest Mendoza was killed when his patrol car was struck head-on by a drunk driver on FM 1301 in Wharton County.
The truck driven by the drunk driver veered into the opposite lane, causing the collision. Chief Mendoza was killed instantly upon impact.
The drunk driver who caused the crash fled on foot but was apprehended by a deputy sheriff a short time later. The man was charged with felony murder and failure to stop and render aid. The driver had four previous DUI convictions. He was subsequently sentenced to 90 years in prison.
Chief Mendoza had served with the Needville ISD Police Department for 10 years and a total of 25 years law enforcement service. He is survived by his wife and seven children.