Fallen Heroes: Solo Motorcycle Officer J. D. Landry

Nelson Zoch

November 3, 1930

  1. D. Landry was born in Louisiana on November 23, 1895. It is unknown how long he served as a Houston police officer.

On Tuesday, December 2, 1930, Motorcycle Officers J. D. Landry and A. O. Taylor were working traffic in the near south end of downtown. Officer Landry began chasing a speeder on Tuam Avenue near Genessee Street. While doing so, he crashed into the rear of a car driven by Fred Soland of No. 94 Fairview, who had slowed down to turn into his automobile business at that location, the Fairview Motor Company.

The impact turned Soland’s car end to end. The collision threw Officer Landry to the ground and caused him literally to skid down the street. Soland rushed into his business and instructed an employee to call an ambulance. He also attempted to aid the injured officer with a towel and water. However, Officer Landry suffered severe internal injuries as well as a possible fractured skull.

A Fogle-West Company ambulance rushed him to Memorial Hospital, where he was treated but never regained consciousness. He passed away at 6 p.m. the following day, Wednesday, December 3, from the skull fracture and internal injuries.  He was thirty-five years old.

Officer Landry, who lived at 7217 Avenue H, was survived by his wife, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Adolphe Landry, three brothers, Walter, Otis and Sidney Landry, and one sister, Mrs. Edna Landry, all of Henry, Louisiana.

The investigation included an interview with both Officer Taylor and Mr. Soland. Soland stated that he was preparing to turn into his business when he was struck from the rear. He also said that he did not see the motorcycle until after the accident.

Soland was charged with assault by auto before Justice of the Peace Campbell Overstreet and released on $500 bond.

The body of Officer Landry was shipped to New Iberia, Louisiana by Fogle West Company via the Southern Pacific Railroad Line.