HOUSTON (AP) — Authorities say a sheriff’s deputy died in a crash Wednesday after his vehicle clipped the back of a semitrailer parked on the shoulder of a Houston-area highway.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said Robert Adam Howard, a 27-year-old Harris County sheriff’s deputy, was getting ready to begin an operation when he hit the semitrailer.

Gonzalez says, “Our hearts are broken.”

A second Harris County sheriff’s office deputy who was riding a motorcycle was injured while escorting Howard to the hospital, but Gonzalez said that deputy was expected to be OK.

A cordon of honor and a police escort was held for Howard as his body left the hospital.

Howard joined the department three years ago. He was an investigator in the Violent Gang Suppression Unit, according to a post from HCSO.

The 27-year-old is survived by his wife and two young children.