Deputy killed in crash not wearing seat belt at the time

VALENCIA COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – The Valencia County Sheriff’s Department is mourning the loss of one of their own. A deputy was killed in an overnight rollover crash while responding to a call.

Deputy Ryan Thomas was just 30 years old and a Bosque native. He was with the Valencia County Sheriff’s Department for less than a year.

“This department is grieving, his family is grieving, the community is grieving,” said Lt. John Gordon.

Deputy Thomas died on scene Tuesday night after being ejected from his vehicle. He was responding to a service call and lost control at Manzano Expressway and South Rio Del Oro Loop. He wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.

“He’s the one that needed help that night,” Micheal Yant said. A close friend who met Thomas in the Navy and tells News 13 he lived to serve and had a close-knit family.

Wednesday, deputies lowered the flag for Thomas who they described as a friend, also a husband, son, brother and father of a 2-year-old girl. He also had a baby boy due next month.

“I’m concerned about their future without their father,” Yant said, adding Thomas dedicated his life to others.

“He was a dedicated individual. He was a very honorable man.”

He went straight to the Navy after finishing high school. He was also an Air Guard member.

“He’s the guy everybody aspires to be,” he said.

Thomas worked for Alamogordo Police and came home to Valencia County less than a year ago after his father passed away.

“He was born to a very close-knit family,” Yant explained, adding he wishes others could have known him.

“I’m just going to miss him,” he said.

New Mexico State Police are still investigating the crash. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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