In an unusual criminal prosecution, a doctor is blamed for improperly prescribing pills that were involved in a quadruple-fatality collision.
Montgomery County officials have charged Dr. Rezik Saqer. He is accused of prescribing medication to Ronald Cooper. According to news accounts, Cooper was in a wreck on September 20, 2015 that killed a family of four. It is alleged that Cooper was driving west in a Hyndai Azera on Highway 105 when he slammed into the rear end of the family’s Toyota Echo. That knocked the Echo into the path of eastbound traffic, where it was hit by a Jeep. Two teenagers in the Jeep were also injured.
Authorities allege that, at the time of the wreck, Cooper was under the influence of drugs that were prescribed to him by Dr. Saqer. Those drugs include oxycodone and Valium.
Cooper has been charged with four counts of intoxicated manslaughter. Meanwhile, the Texas Medical Board has suspended Dr. Saqer’s medical license due to the case. Today, Dr. Saqer attended court for his first appearance.
This rare prosecution of a medical doctor demonstrates that officials take seriously the hazards of driving while under the influence. Most doctors have demonstrated years of academic excellence and commitment to enter a profession that is dedicated to saving lives. The law affords them great authority, including the privilege of prescribing controlled substances. But, with great privilege goes great responsibility. That includes the obligation to ascertain that drugs are only validly prescribed to suitable patients and in proper amounts. This case will prove whether Dr. Saqer lived up to his oath and duties.