HOUSTON - A Houston police officer is in critical condition after he was hit by a train on Wednesday morning.
Sr. HPD Officer Vidal Lopez was hit by the train while in uniform, as he headed to work just before 7 a.m. in his own personal vehicle on Fulton at Stokes Street.
"We just left there. We went in there and were able to speak to him, and we’re praying for the best," says Lopez's friend of 15 years, fellow veteran Houston Police Officer Ray Hunt who shared a touching moment that happened there between Sr. Officer Lopez and his wife.
"They were going to have a gender reveal party this Saturday. So his wife shared with him, he did not know the gender. His wife shared the gender with him today in his ear," says Hunt.
"Pray for his family, his beautiful wife, his mom and dad, his entire family, including the HPD family," says HPD Chief Troy Finner.
"It’s a very tough day for the entire Houston Police Department," Hunt adds.
Officer Lopez has been on the force for 20 years. He’s 42 years old. He and his wife are expecting their first baby. "He called me on Monday to give me the good news and said 'God is good. We’re having a baby.’ Everybody who came in contact with Vidal liked him. He was an all around good guy, great police officer. Very good investigator. Good Christian man too. So I have no doubt God’s watching over him and his family right now," Hunt says.
BNSF Railway workers have spent hours running tests on the railroad crossing arms, including examining the one that was smashed to the ground in the accident, as investigators try to figure out what caused the tragedy. BNSF says at this point it appears the gates and lights were working properly.