Former news anchor struck and killed while crossing street

Jerry Najera, Multimedia Journalist
POSTED: 03:17 AM MST Jan 28, 2013    UPDATED: 08:49 PM MST Jan 14, 2014 
El Paso, Texas -

Former radio and television reporter John Garmon was struck and killed by a vehicle Saturday evening.

Garmon touched many during his decades-long tenure at KVIA and KDBC, and KTSM radio.

"El Paso has lost a tremendous journalism icon, he taught a lot of people, he inspired a lot of people," said former television anchor Felipa Solis as she recalled Garmon's dedication to journalism.

"He was the man, he walked into the newsroom and everybody paid attention," she said.

Police investigators say Garmon was crossing Edgemere at the intersection of Ivanhoe. It was then that 40-year-old Jose Sanchez, who was traveling west on Edgmere, hit Garmon, police say.

Garmon was not on a crosswalk.

He was taken to Del Sol Medical Center and pronounced dead on arrival.

"I thought, 'this is irony' because here 'John dies' is the subject of the story that he had covered dozens of times in his career," said former ABC-7 anchor Gary Warner.

Garmon covered the crime and courts beat for many years.

But it was a day in 1963 that made an indelible mark on Garmon as a reporter.

He was the first to tell El Pasoans that president John F. Kennedy was dead.

In a 2011 interview Garmon told ABC-7, "I'm sure I was the first person, broadcaster if you will, in El Paso to air the fact that president Kennedy had been assassinated."

"These were the golden days of broadcasting in El Paso and it was beautiful to see and experience them first hand," said Solis.

Garmon's friends and co-workers remembered him for being and old-school journalist with a competitive edge but they also remember Garmon's lighter side.

"He had a wonderful sense of humor he was always joking behind the scenes. He took his job very seriously but behind the scenes he was a very humorous personality," said Warner.

"I hope that he knows we are remembering him and talking about him this way because he was a journalist," said Solis with a smile.

Garmon was 72 years old.

Police say the investigation is ongoing, alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash and charges have not been filed.