Trooper Ralph George Zerda

Trooper Ralph George Zerda

Texas Department of Public Safety - Texas Highway Patrol, Texas

End of Watch Sunday, May 21, 1989

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Ralph George Zerda

Trooper Ralph Zerda and Sergeant William Kuhnle were killed when a drunk truck driver crashed his tractor-trailer into their parked patrol car at 3:00 am.

The officers were parked on the shoulder of westbound US 9 near Road 1604 after stopping another drunk driver. They were crushed between their patrol vehicle and the vehicle they had stopped.

The drunk driver was sentenced to two concurrent 10-year sentences in prison but was released after serving only four years.

Trooper Zerda had served with the Texas Department of Public Safety - Texas Highway Patrol for five years. He was survived by his wife and daughter.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Vehicular assault
  • Weapon Automobile; Alcohol involved
  • Offender Sentenced to 10 years

DUI, traffic stop

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I was on duty when Bill & Ralph were killed

Gayle A Barnes

July 19, 2023

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