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Houston Officer Killed By Drunk Driver During Memorial Day Weekend

The long holiday weekend proved fatal for a Houston police officer who was on duty investigating an accident when he was hit by a drunk driver.

In the early morning hours on Sunday, May 29, a portion of the 610 North Loop was barricaded by a number of emergency vehicles; several Houston Police Department officers were investigating a hit-and-run motorcycle accident. Suddenly, a car came around the barricade of flashing lights and hit a 38 year-old police officer.

The officer had been interviewing a witness on the side of the road and as the car came speeding through the barrier, others on the scene told reporters that he yelled at the witness to "get out of the way." The witness jumped over a concrete divider and heard the car strike the officer behind him. The officer died at the scene of the fatal vehicle accident.

The 26-year-old driver was arrested at the scene and taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Officers found a bag of cocaine in his pocket and preliminary tests revealed that his blood alcohol content (BAC) was nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08 -- measuring at .238. According to police, he has been charged with "intoxication manslaughter of a peace officer, felony evading in a motor vehicle and possession of a controlled substance."

Investigators later discovered that the 26-year-old drunk driver is an illegal immigrant from Mexico who has been deported twice from the U.S.

The officer is survived by his pregnant wife and two children. It is unknown whether his spouse will attempt to pursue a wrongful death claim against the drunk driver.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Houston police officer struck by car, killed," 5/29/11.

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