Woman in Custody Killed by Drunk Driver
A woman has been killed after having been taken into custody for public intoxication early Wednesday when the police cruiser she was writing in was struck by a DUI driver. According to the Houston Police Department, the handcuffed woman in custody was thrown from the police car she was riding in and later died at the hospital as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. The police officer that had taken her into custody had also been injured in the accident. Officials from the Houston Police Department said that approximately 3:35 a.m. a 21-year-old woman driving a red Chevrolet Cobalt crashed her vehicle into a police cruiser and Chartres Street and Texas Street. Sgt. Ignacia Izaguire at the scene said that there were indications at the scene of the accident that the 21-year-old woman appeared to have been driving under the influence of alcohol and was uncertain what had happened. “She stated to one of our officers here that she, ‘shouldn’t have been driving, shouldn’t have been driving.’” According to Sgt. Izaguire, the Cobalt’s driver suffered a head injury and was sent to the hospital along with a passenger that had been in her car. Police investigators later confirmed that the woman who was in custody had been killed in the accident. She was not properly restrained in a seatbelt, in spite of standard police department policy that those in police custody should be properly belted in the vehicle. The 21-year-old detainee who later became the accident victim had been taken into custody earlier in the night at Hobby Airport after it was determined she was a hazard to herself. She was being transported to a sobriety center when the crash occurred. Police officials stated that the officer involved in the crash is a veteran of 15 years with Houston police, but neither her identity nor the identities of the others involved were released. The incident is currently being investigated by the Vehicular Crimes and Internal Affairs Divisions of the Houston Police Department. Never be tempted to drive under the influence of alcohol. The state of Texas has a low tolerance for those who would drink and drive and driving under the influence of alcohol or DUI, and the offense is considered a serious crime in this state. One of the leading causes of fatal car accidents each year is because of drivers who get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol or other substances. The legal blood alcohol level that a driver must have to operate a vehicle in the state of Texas is below 0.08%. For holders of commercial driver’s licenses such as those required to operate 18-wheel rigs, buses or other heavy trucks, the legal limit for them has been set at 0.04% in all 50 States. The death of this woman in custody may very well been prevented had she been properly restrained in a seatbelt. Most States in the continental United States have laws that require the use of seat belts for both drivers and for passengers while travelling in a motor vehicle. When an officer of the law takes custody of a person, they have also assumed the responsibility to take reasonable steps to protect that person from harm. Police offices are there to protect and to serve to the best of their ability. It is their job to protect and to serve the safety of for everyone in the community. If you or a loved one has been injured or tragically killed in an accident, give our offices a call. We have experienced attorneys who can discuss the details of your case with you and will take the time to help you decide your best course of action. We can help you to settle a claim to cover the medical or long term care costs, rehabilitative care, funeral costs and other damages that you or your loved ones are entitled.