Texas deputy killed by drunken driver in last day of training, sheriff says

Sheriff: Lorenzo Bustos, 29, was working traffic stop when he was hit by 21-year-old driver

TYLER – An East Texas deputy was hit and killed by a drunken driver during a traffic stop on his last day of training, according to the Smith County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Larry Smith said Lorenzo Bustos, 29, and his training partner, Michael Skinner, 39, were working on a traffic stop at 11:50 p.m. Thursday in Tyler.

They had two people from that traffic stop detained in their patrol unit and Bustos was standing near the back of the car when a Mercedes Benz rear-ended it.

Bustos was “launched” under the patrol car after being hit at “moderate speed at best,” Smith said in a news conference.

He suffered two major head injuries and was taken to a hospital, where he died on Friday morning.

Smith said that Skinner sustained injuries but was treated at the hospital and released.

Another person that was detained during the initial traffic stop suffered minor injuries.

The driver of the Mercedes Benz, Daniel Nyenze Nyabuto, 21 of Grand Prairie, was initially arrested for intoxication assault but charges were expected to be upgraded to intoxication manslaughter, Smith said.

He was booked into the Smith County Jail but was transferred to the Gregg County Jail, where he remains on a $750,000 bond, jail records show.

Daniel Nyabuto is accused of fatally striking a Smith County deputy. (Gregg County Sheriff's Office)

The passenger of the Mercedes Benz was arrested on charges of public intoxication. That person was not identified.

Smith said that Bustos joined the sheriff’s office about six months ago, and he was in the “ghost phase” of his training. Thursday night marked his last night of training.

“... He became to be very loved by all of his cohorts and coworkers,” Smith said.

He left behind three young children and a wife, the sheriff’s office said.

Bustos’ body was escorted to Dallas for an autopsy.

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