Once again, a high-speed police chase leads to death. This time, six people were killed.
This week, police in Dickinson observed a Durango driving erratically, and attempted to stop the vehicle. Instead, Juan Garcia Ahuezoteco, the driver, fled. The police officer then commenced a high-speed pursuit. In fact, the suspect reached an estimated 100 miles per hour in the city while trying to evade the police.
It turns out that Ahuezoteco had an outstanding felony warrant for driving while intoxicated.
Tragically, while attempting to escape, Ahuezoteco smashed into a Honda Accord at the intersection of Ohio Street and FM 646 in League City. As a result, the Durango he was driving crashed into a poll. Both Ahuezoteco and the other occupant of the Durango, Ahuezoteco’s cousin Alejandro Molina, died. In addition, four people riding in the Honda Accord were killed, including a 15-year-old boy, his parents, and his uncle.
The reality is that law enforcement officials can foresee disasters like this. Back in January, for instance, a motorcycle rider was killed in a high-speed police chase.
Officers here, as well as those across the nation, are aware that some people will try to evade arrest. As a result, many officials have carefully created policies that minimize the risk to the community which occurs when suspects flee. These policies involve using other officers positioned at various locations across a perimeter to keep the suspect from successfully getting away, while still eliminating the high-speed chase that may impose greater risk to citizens than the underlying crime the suspect is believed to have committed.
The City of Dickinson should use this occasion to review its policies regarding high-speed chases, as should other area police agencies. In the medical profession, students are taught early that, when confronted with a situation, they should first “do no harm.” In other words, they should not make a difficult circumstance worse. For the safety of all who use the public streets, police officers need to be taught the same thing.