Friday, July 28, 2017

An officer with the Houston Police Department fell 16 feet off of Interstate 69 after it appears he was hit by a drunk driver

An officer with the Houston Police Department fell 16 feet off of Interstate 69 early Friday after it appears he was hit by a drunk driver.

The collision happened about 2:05 a.m. while the officer stood on the outbound Newcastle exit ramp of I-69, said HPD Sgt. Thomas Fendia. The officer was responding to an earlier, single-car crash that had left one car on the ramp, blocking traffic.
A driver on the freeway - described only as a woman - veered onto the exit ramp, around the car that was blocking traffic and toward the officer.

Witnesses said the driver slammed into the officer, sending him over the ledge of the freeway. The officer may have also seen the driver coming and jumped to prevent being hit.

The officer fell 16 feet off the highway.

As he fell, a second officer appears to have been caught up in the scuffle. It is unclear if that officer was also hit, but he did sustain bumps and bruises.

"You've got essentially a 3,000, 4,000, 10,000-pound weapon coming straight at these officers," Fendia said. "There's absolutely nothing they can do ... it's a scary situation. It really is."

Both officers - who were not immediately identified - were taken to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver is being investigated for intoxication. She reeked of alcohol in the aftermath of the crash.

The officer who fell off the highway had been with HPD for 9 years. The other injured officer had been on the force for 3 years.

Most of the drunk-related incidents occur in the early a.m. hours, like this case.

In June, Houston police arrested 55 drivers on felony alcohol charges.

Specific charges ranged from driving while intoxicated with a child in the vehicle to intoxicated assault with a vehicle.

Some of the suspects had two or more prior arrests on similar charges. Driving while intoxicated is typically a misdemeanor on the first two offenses.

While most of the felony cases in June were the result of a third DWI charge, 13 people were arrested on a charge of DWI with a child present, while one person was arrested a on charge of intoxicated assault with a vehicle.