It was announced on Wednesday, Aug. 23, that a deputy with Precinct 4 of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office had been fired from his post. He stands accused of having witnessed, yet failed to report, a fatal crash the night of Saturday, Aug. 19.
The officer had reportedly been patrolling near 17600 Queenslake Drive at around 10 p.m. when he noted two young woman speeding past him in their car. It’s then that he made a U-turn and began pursing the vehicle. As he was attempting to catch up with them, the driver of that vehicle lost control of her vehicle, crashed into a cement barrier, and flipped her car.
Although the 19-year-veteran had been pursuing the women immediately prior to their crash, he said he didn’t see it happen. He later told his superiors that he must have been looking down at his laptop when it occurred. Upon review of the dashcam footage, his superiors felt that it would have been impossible for him to miss the crash. They fired him because they though he should have checked on the car’s inhabitants.
His superiors determined that, had the officer stopped and checked on the occupants or, at the very least, reported the crash, things could have ended up differently. One of the 16-year-old occupants in the vehicle at the time died instantly as a result of her injuries. The other was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital by helicopter. When she arrived, she was listed as being in critical condition.
Shortly after after the case was turned over to internal affairs to investigate it, the officer was fired for not having immediately reported the case. The Sheriff’s Department and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office are working together to compile evidence. The prosecutor’s office will reportedly be presenting the case to a grand jury.
It’s possible that they will recommend that the officer have criminal charges brought against him. He may also face a civil lawsuit if it can be proven his negligence resulted in the girls’ injuries or death.
If you’ve been seriously injured in a car crash that resulted from the negligence of either the driver or someone else, then you may be entitled to a reimbursement of medical expenses and other costs in your legal case.
Source: Houston Chronicle, “Precinct 4 deputy fired after fatal Saturday night crash,” St. John Barned-Smith, Aug. 23, 2017