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Judge Fatally Hit By Car Near Courthouse

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United States District Judge Larry Hicks, a reputable figure in the Nevada legal scene, passed away following a vehicle incident near the federal courthouse in Reno, Nevada. Hicks was 80 years old.

On Wednesday, May 29, 2024, the Reno Police Department, Nevada, received a call about a vehicle-pedestrian collision at approximately 2:15 p.m. Hicks was rushed to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries shortly afterward, as per the authorities. The driver involved remained at the accident scene and is cooperating with the investigation. The police have stated that impairment does not seem to be a factor in this incident.

The widely respected and admired Judge Hicks was appointed by former President George W. Bush in 2001 and served the state of Nevada honorably for more than two decades. His significant contributions to the field of law mark his remarkable career.

Hicks, born in Evanston, Ohio, relocated to Reno, Nevada, from Los Angeles at the age of 13. He completed his schooling at Reno High School and was the first in his family to pursue higher education, starting with the University of Nevada, Reno. Hicks was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity and later obtained his law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law.

In 1968, Hicks started his career at the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office. He became the elected Washoe County district attorney in 1975 and served until 1979 before moving to a well-known Nevada law firm. His unwavering commitment to justice had a significant effect on the community.

Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo expressed the state’s sorrow, stating, “The entire state is mourning the loss of a man with unmatched professional integrity.” The Reno community and the broader legal sphere of Nevada will feel the void left by Hicks’ death.

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office paid homage to Hicks, with Sheriff Darin Balaam remembering the judge’s devotion to his family and community. “Judge Hicks, despite his numerous achievements, once said, ‘My greatest thrill in life is my family.’ He lived by a philosophy that emphasized balancing family, work, and self,” Balaam said.

In a statement issued through the District Attorney’s Office, Hicks’ family highlighted his commitment to his family and community: “Judge Larry Hicks was highly respected as a lawyer and judge, a loyal friend, mentor, and dedicated to justice. For us, he was, above all, a man who prioritized family. He was a hero in every sense, a loving husband of nearly 59 years, a devoted father, a cherished grandfather, and a brother. His loss is immeasurable.”

During his tenure, Judge Hicks presided over several high-profile cases, including environmental conflicts and political corruption trials. One such case involved Nevada lobbyist Harvey Whittemore, whom Hicks sentenced to prison for making illegal contributions to U.S. Senator Harry Reid’s 2007 campaign. Hicks also oversaw multiple conservationist challenges to federal land management decisions in Nevada, often deferring to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s expertise but not always agreeing with them.

In 2020, the State Bar of Nevada awarded Hicks the Presidential Award in recognition of his distinguished career. His son, Chris Hicks, the present Washoe County District Attorney, lauded his father, stating, “Congratulations, Dad. No one is more deserving! Thank you for being an incredible father, mentor, and lawyer.”

Reno Police Chief Kathryn Nance emphasized the lasting impact of Judge Hicks’ work beyond the courtroom, declaring, “Judge Hicks’ death is a tragedy that will leave a lasting impact on our lives.” In his honor, flags at federal courthouses in Nevada were lowered to half-staff.

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