Towing Company Supports Fallen Hero

Cleveland (Liberty County), Texas – Although rain wasn’t in the forecast, it is seemingly appropriate that a light rain began falling just before the procession began and subsided just afterwards. Liberty County Sheriff’s Deputy, Richard Whitten, was laid to rest today, and the attendance and participation in his funeral and procession was nothing short of staggering; it was a truly humbling experience to witness.

Deputy Whitten was shot in the neck last year by a murder suspect during an incident in Cleveland, a small town northwest of Houston. He was recovering well in the rehabilitation process according to medical personnel, but then suffered a heart attack during physical therapy last week. Deputy Whitten was just named “Officer of the Year” by the Houston Area 100 Club. He left behind his wife and two children.

The incredible turnout for this procession brought in law enforcement personnel from all over the state of Texas and some from as far away as Louisiana.  Another remarkable factor was the droves of people lining the street and blocking traffic from several fire departments and two county towing companies.

While observing the procession involving well over 500 emergency responder and private vehicles, I spoke with Dale Fowler of Smith Towing. Dale is retired Army and has worked with Smith Towing for about 3 years.  His words proved to me exactly what Deputy Whitten meant to him and his company, as well as what type of deputy and man Richard Whitten was.

When I asked Dale what this meant to him, his reply was straight-forward, as I’d expect from a Texan and veteran: “We all washed our trucks and came out today to honor this man,” Fowler began. “Deputy Whitten was a great guy – he worked with us really well and would drop by our shop and shoot the breeze with us and give us a hard time–we lost a good man!”

The rain was appropriate, and we can thank the Lord for it.  There are tears being shed for an outstanding deputy, husband, father, and first responder today, and those tears are spread throughout the first responder community in Liberty County.