Monday, May 24, 2010
Sergeant William J. Kuhnle
Sergeant William John Kuhnle Jr.
Texas Department of Public Safety, TX
Cause of Death: Vehicular assault
End of Watch: May 21, 1989
Date of Incident: May 21, 1989
Badge Number: 4569
Tour of Duty: 11 yr
Suspect Info: Ralph G. Mueller of NM, Sentenced to 10 years: released after 4 years.
Weapon Used: 18-wheeler; Alcohol involved
Buried: Restever Memorial Park, in Byron, Texas
Location of Name on National and Texas Monuments
NLEOMF: P12 - E10
TPOM: 31, C, 09
Sergeant Kuhnle and Trooper Ralph Zerda were killed when a drunken truck driver, Ralph Mueller 51, crashed his tractor trailer into their parked patrol car just between 2:40 to 2:56 am. The Troopers were a part of the DWI Task Force and had parked on the shoulder after stopping another drunk driver, one mile inside Bexar County line, near the intersection of U.S. Highway 90 and Farm -to-Market Road 1604. They had made a DWI traffic arrest and had requested routine registration information, then requested a wrecker. A tractor trailer traveling westbound on U.S. 90 had veered off the road and struck the patrol unit from behind. Both Sgt. Kuhnle and Trooper Zerda were killed instantly as they were standing between their patrol nit and their suspects’ vehicle. Sgt. Kuhnle's body was thrown about 500 feet after impact. The suspect arrested by the Troopers was in the back seat of the patrol unit and only sustained minor injuries. Mueller was sentenced to two concurrent 10 year sentences in prison, but was released after serving only 4 years.
Sergeant Kuhnle had been with the agency for 11 years. He is survived by his wife, Diana; two daughters; and one son. ----source San Antonio Light and San Antonio Express News