When a car accident occurs, law enforcement is called to the scene to investigate and render aid. While investigating, law enforcement officials are obligated to follow the clues and make a determination of cause, and identify anyone who might be responsible. The Houston Police Department found themselves in a rather uncomfortable position when a recent accident investigation revealed that not only was a fellow law enforcement officer at fault, the officer happened to be their boss.
On Sept. 4, Houston’s chief of police was involved in an accident when he struck a pedestrian in a crosswalk. The police chief was driving a city-owned sports utility vehicle not far from the Houston Police Department headquarters on 1200 Travis when he struck a man attempting to cross the street. The man was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for injuries to his arm.
After an investigation, it was determined that the police chief was at fault for the accident. As a result, Houston’s mayor suspended the police chief for one day without pay. The police chief has taken full responsibility for the accident and has called on his police force to step up monitoring of busy downtown intersections to crack down on jaywalkers and drivers who ignore traffic laws.
It is fortunate that the man did not suffer more severe injuries; however, he is still within his rights to seek compensation for the injuries he did sustain. The police chief, as well as the city of Houston, could be held financially responsible for the injuries he suffered, as well for claims of medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.
Source: Officer.com, “Houston Police Chief Suspended for Hitting Pedestrian” James Pinkerton, Sep. 20, 2013