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US District Judge fatally killed in vehicle crash near Nevada courthouse, authorities say

RENO, Nev. —  U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush in 2001, died Wednesday after being struck by a vehicle in Nevada. He was 80.

The Reno Police Department was called to a vehicle-pedestrian crash near the federal courthouse in downtown Reno at about 2:15 p.m. Hicks was transported to the hospital but died just after, authorities said.

The driver involved in the crash remained on the scene and is cooperating with the investigation, authorities added. Impairment does not appear to be a factor in the crash.

Officials paid tribute to Hick, who was remembered for his love of his family and Reno community.

“Today’s news regarding the Honorable Judge Larry R. Hicks who served Nevada for over 53 years is tragic,” Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam said on X. “Despite his notable accomplishments, Judge Hicks once stated, ‘My greatest thrill in life is my family.’ His life philosophy was based on a balance of family, work, and self.”

“Larry Hicks was a one-of-a-kind man, revered in our community and, most importantly, beloved by his family. On behalf of my family and the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office, we extend our deepest condolences to Larry’s son Chris, the current District Attorney, and all of Larry’s family. Judge Hicks’ legacy will forever be noted in Washoe County.”

On Wednesday night, the District Attorney’s Office released a statement on behalf of the Hicks family:

“Today, our community lost an extraordinary man. Judge Larry Hicks was a deeply admired lawyer and judge, a devoted friend, mentor, and a committed servant to the administration of justice. To us, he was first and foremost a man who put nothing before family. He was a hero in all manners, a loving husband of nearly 59 years, a doting dad, an adoring Papa, and brother. His loss is beyond comprehension.”

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District attorney, judge, family man

Hicks was a former Washoe County district attorney and the father of Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks.

In a video interview with his son in 2022, the judge talked about the quality he was most proud of that he got from his parents: “Devotion to family above and beyond all other qualities. My mother and father were totally dedicated to their children.”

In the interview, Hicks said he and his wife, with whom he also had two daughters, would be celebrating their 57th anniversary.

Hicks was born in Evanston, Ohio, and his family moved to Reno from Los Angeles when he was 13. He graduated from Reno High School and became the first person in his family to attend college when he entered the University of Nevada, where he joined Sigma Nu fraternity, according to the interview.

In 2020, Chris Hicks posted a tribute to his father after he won an award.

“Recently, the State Bar of Nevada honored my dad, Judge Larry Hicks, with the Presidential Award recognizing his illustrious career,” Chris Hicks wrote. “The prestigious award is presented to those whose conduct, honesty, and integrity represent the highest standards of the legal profession.

IN 2008: State Sen. William Raggio, left; District Attorney Dick Gammick and former District Attorney and future U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks attend a reunion dinner at the Peppermill Hotel-Casino 38 years after Raggio left the DA's office. The reunion was hosted by Raggio for his former colleagues affectionately known at Raggio's Raiders.

“Congratulations Dad. There is no one more deserving! Thank you for being the father, mentor, and lawyer you are.”

Earlier this month, Hicks presided over a private investigator’s lawsuit that claimed Sparks police detectives violated his rights by naming him as the person who put a tracking device on Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve’s vehicle.

Hicks called David McNeely’s argument “unpersuasive and unsupported” and dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning a similar lawsuit cannot be refiled.

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The U.S. District Court said flags over the federal courthouses in Nevada will be flown at half-staff in honor of Hicks.

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