For the second time in two days, the Bell County Sheriff's Department has announced the death of one of their own.

Operations Sergeant Robert L. Pettigrew passed away at his home in Lampasas County at the age of 59 Monday morning. In a news release, Lt. Robert Reinhard said Pettigrew died of natural causes and was surrounded by family.

Pettigrew had been with the department since 1993, beginning his career there as a corrections officer before being promoted to deputy. He served as the department's D.A.R.E. officer for a number of years and was promoted to Operations Sergeant.

Sadly, Pettigrew is the second Bell County Sheriff's Office deputy to pass away in just over a day.

Early Sunday morning, Deputy John Andrew Rhoden was struck by an 18-wheeler and fatally injured while attempting to deploy spike strips during the pursuit of a stolen vehicle.

In a news release, the Temple Police Department reported that the stolen vehicle entered Bell County around 1:40 AM while being pursued by Williamson County deputies.

Bell County deputies joined in the pursuit, and Rhoden was killed near exit 294 of northbound I-35 in Temple.

Rhoden's body was scheduled to be escorted to Dallas by his colleagues at the sheriff's department. Temple police are investigating his death along with the Texas DPS and Bell County Sheriff's Office.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app