Department of Public Safety Sgt. Karl Keesee of Brownwood, who was killed in an October 2015 on-duty traffic accident, was among the recipients of the 2016 Star of Texas Awards.
    Gov. Gregg Abbott presented the Star of Texas Awards Monday to first responders, peace officers and firefighters “who have demonstrated remarkable courage and heroism in serving and protecting their communities throughout the state.,” the governor’s website states.
     The Star of Texas Awards were created by the Texas Legislature in 2003 to honor men and women who have been seriously injured or killed in the line of duty.
    “Today, Texas honors the extraordinary few – those who have demonstrated the character and the courage to repeatedly put their lives on the line to serve and protect their communities,” Abbott said as he presented the awards.
    “Today we recognize acts of uncommon valor — by first responders, firefighters and law enforcement officers — willing to put everything on the line to keep us safe. All of the men and women who protect and serve, and the families who stand by their sides, deserve our deepest respect. They represent the very best of Texas.”
    Keesee, 49, died the night of Oct. 29, 2015 when his patrol car crashed near Goldthswaite.
    According to a press release from the DPS, Keesee was driving south on U.S. Highway 84 when his patrol car left the road, traveled over the guardrail and into a creek bed.