Posts Tagged ‘HPD’

HPD Officer Nestor Garcia struck by suspected drunk driver

Please pray for 24-year old Houston Police Department Officer Nestor Garcia who was struck and seriously injured by an SUV last night on US 59 southbound at Dunlavy.

Officer Garcia, a rookie with less than 1-year on-the-job with HPD, was participating in a felony stop of a suspected stolen vehicle, when a white Toyota Highlander driven by a 79-year old male plowed through the scene at about 60 MPH. Officer Garcia sustained a head injury, abdominal injuries and some fractures and was listed in critical condition. The 79-year old driver was arrested and is expected to be charged with intoxication assault of a peace officer. Officer Garcia is not married; media reports say his family were with him at the hospital.

HPD Nestor Garcia drunk driving accident

The Toyota SUV that struck Officer Garcia

Update: the 79-year old driver has been publicly identified as Robert Zimmerman. Channel 13 interviewed Zimmerman’s neighbors and business associates, who report he used to work in real estate investing and is semi-retired. Zimmerman does not have a criminal record.

Car accident on Little York sends HPD officer to hospital

A Houston Police Department patrol officer was transported to the emergency room by ambulance after a near head-on car accident on Little York Road near Aldine-Westfield. Around 5:30 p.m. a gold-colored Mercury sedan attempted to make a left turn across oncoming lanes, causing the collision. KHOU’s report did not list the officer’s condition, but the ambulance got a police escort to the hospital.

Houston personal injury attorneys Smith & Hassler

The Smith & Hassler Houston personal injury law firm is celebrating 25-years in business this April!

Drunk driver crashes into HPD patrol car near Hermann Park

Police suspect a woman driving an Audi sedan was drunk when she crashed into a HPD patrol unit on Almeda Road near Hermann Park.  The officer was traveling northbound on Almeda when the Audi came towards the police car, driving on the wrong side of the road.  The officer swerved to avoid the collision, but the vehicles still made contact. It appears from the photographs that the Audi came to rest in a ditch.

car accident personal injury attorneys Smith & Hassler

Photo credit: KHOU

Houston personal injury attorneys Smith & Hassler

Photo credit: KHOU

Houston car accident attorneys; drunk driving accident information

HPD bike patrol officer injured in accident in Kingwood with pickup truck

KHOU says that a HPD bike patrol officer was knocked down and injured in an accident in Kingwood. A pickup truck was turning into a gas station on Kingwood Drive near W. Lake Houston Parkway when the officer, who was riding a bicycle, was hit. He was transported to hospital, fortunately with injuries that were not life-threatening. The article doesn’t say if the officer was on duty at the time, but presumably not given the accident happened in Kingwood.

Houston bicycle accident attorneys personal injury Smith and Hassler

Kingwood Drive and W Lake Houston Parkway

Police car rear ended on Southwest Freeway

Police say a woman was speeding around 1:00 a.m. this morning when she slammed on her brakes, losing control of her Nissan car before striking a concrete barrier, spinning out then rear-ending a Houston Police Department patrol car. Both vehicles are totaled. The officer in the patrol car was watching for speeders at the time of the accident on the Southwest Freeway near Beltway 8. KHOU said neither the officer nor the driver of the Nissan were injured in the accident; the driver faces two traffic citations.

rear end accident attorneys Smith and Hassler Houston

Photo credit: KHOU

car accident personal injury attorney Smith and Hassler Houston

Photo credit: KHOU

Car accident injury attorney in Houston; contingency fee attorney in Houston

HPD cruiser causes wrong way accident on Fulton Street

Early this morning a Houston Police Department officer caused a wrong-way head on car accident, colliding with a pickup truck in a construction zone. The crash happened on Fulton Street at Bennington Street. HPD says a patrol unit occupied by two officers was responding to a Code 1 call and had its emergency lights on when it turned north on Fulton, not realizing the street was one-way southbound due to construction. The police car hit an oncoming pickup truck, sending the pickup driver and one of the officers to hospital. Apparently the underlying matter the patrol unit was responding to was a vehicle pursuit in the nearby area. Channel 2’s story is here.
Hopefully the City of Houston will take care of the truck owner’s medical expenses and the damage to his vehicle. Under Texas law, units of government have immunity from being sued in most circumstances, however the Texas Tort Claims Act provides exceptions to sovereign immunity, including negligence caused by a government employee while operating a motor driven vehicle. If the government employee happens to be a police officer responding to an emergency call with lights and sirens however, the person injured in the accident caused by the police officer would have to show either that the officer did not act in conformity with an emergency action law, or was acting with conscious indifference or reckless disregard for the safety of others. (See CPRC Sec. 101.055 (2) below). That can be a difficult burden to carry for someone looking to recover their damages from an accident caused by a Texas peace officer responding to an emergency call.
Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code Sec. 101.055. CERTAIN GOVERNMENTAL FUNCTIONS. This chapter does not apply to a claim arising: (1) in connection with the assessment or collection of taxes by a governmental unit; (2) from the action of an employee while responding to an emergency call or reacting to an emergency situation if the action is in compliance with the laws and ordinances applicable to emergency action, or in the absence of such a law or ordinance, if the action is not taken with conscious indifference or reckless disregard for the safety of others; or (3) from the failure to provide or the method of providing police or fire protection.

Photo credit: KHOU

Photo credit: KHOU

Wrecker driver injured in accident on Highway 288 with HPD officer

A HPD patrol officer was involved in a collision with a wrecker truck driver at Highway 288 and Old Spanish Trail. The officer and the wrecker driver were both injured. The officer had pulled over on Highway 288 to help search for a prisoner, and when the officer got back in her police cruiser and tried to merge onto the roadway her clipboard got stuck in the steering wheel and she ran into an unattended wrecker truck. The wrecker truck was then pushed forward into the wrecker driver who was standing nearby. KHOU’s story is here. Channel 2’s story is here, and reports the scene of the accident as Highway 288 and Yellowstone.
Under the Texas Tort Claims Act (TTCA), there are limits placed on the amount of financial liability of a unit of government for death or injury caused to another person. Depending on the type of governmental unit, the maximum damages that may be recovered in a claim for personal injury or death may be either $100,000 or $250,000. In March 2009 a lady named Leigh Boone was involved in an intersection collision between two City of Houston fire trucks in the Montrose area. Ms. Boone was standing at the corner of the intersection with her bicycle when one of the crashed fire trucks rolled onto her. She died after spending two weeks in the hospital. The City of Houston settled with Ms. Boone’s family members for $225,000, just under the $250,000 maximum damages that can be recovered from a municipality under the TTCA.