Sheriff David L. Clabaugh

Sheriff David L. Clabaugh

Panola County Sheriff's Office, Texas

End of Watch Thursday, December 6, 1979

Add to My Heroes

David L. Clabaugh

Sheriff David Clabaugh was killed near Murvaul when he walked into the rotors of a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter during a manhunt for a murder suspect.

The helicopter had landed on FM 1971 to pickup Sheriff Clabaugh. As he approached the helicopter from the rear he walked too close to the rear rotor blade and was sucked into it. He suffered fatal injuries as a result.

The fugitive was later captured and sentenced to prison.

Sheriff Clabaugh was a U.S. Army veteran of WWII.


  • Age 56
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Aircraft accident

manhunt, murder suspect

Most Recent Reflection

View all 6 Reflections

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9

Marshal Chris Di Gerolamo
Federal Air Marshal Service

December 31, 2019

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.