CHAPEL HILL, Texas — The East Texas community continues to mourn the loss of Smith County Sheriff Deputy Lorenzo Bustos.
His life was taken after a suspected drunk driver struck him while Bustos performed a traffic stop on another vehicle last Friday.
Before Bustos became a sheriff’s deputy, he walked the halls of Chapel Hill High School, where he left an impact on students and teachers. He graduated from Chapel Hill in 2011.
"He was just very respectful, especially to adults. He was taught very well; his family knew lots of his family and grew up knowing how to treat students, treat others, treat adults,” said Tracy Steele, Chapel Hill High School science teacher.
Bustos was a student of integrity and stood out among his peers.
“He stood out because he had such a bright smile, always throughout his school years you’ll probably hear a consistent sentiment that he was a sweet young man,” Chapel Hill ISD Superintendent Lamond Dean said. “He was a very fine student and was very friendly and very kind.”
Steele said the work ethic that he displayed in the classroom would later go into him pursuing his career.
“He was definitely one that would kind of put everything into whatever he was working on,” Steele said. “Then as I got to know him as he got older, he worked hard to be in that position and to support his family; they were so very excited.”
Bustos was also a man of faith, who attended Friendly Baptist Church and served in the security team, a church Steele also attends. This past Sunday, his absence was felt during the church’s time of recognition.
“It was very emotional, I was very grateful that there was a time of recognizing him and what has taken place in honoring his life,” Steele added. “A definite time of prayer, for Lorenzo and for their family and just a time of worship.”
A true example of leadership, dedicated to his purpose, which he now leaves behind as a legacy that forever lives on.
“I think he leaves just an amazing legacy of hard work, dedication to his family, and a servant,” Steele said. “His oldest son is a mini me of him and I think he can look at his dad and just see what a life of honor and servanthood that he has led.”
Dean said Chapel Hill ISD will consider having an honorary tribute for Bustos and his family in the coming week.