Once again, police officers chasing a suspect who was evading arrest resulted in injuries to innocent motorists. Shortly after 10:00 p.m. on Sunday night, October 21, 2018, police began to chase a suspect who refused to comply with a routine traffic stop. The chase started close to the intersection of York Street and Harrisburg Boulevard. The suspect fled in his white SUV towards downtown. Reaching Chartres Street near Texas Street, the suspect slammed into the rear of a Honda Civic, knocking it into the back of another vehicle. The crash was so hard that it ejected a woman from the Civic. Still trying to flee, the suspect then reversed, and in the process, he hit a truck and another vehicle. Shortly after that, the police apprehended him near the intersection of Texas and Bastrop streets. The suspect evidently was attempting to evade arrest for driving with a suspended license and because he was driving while intoxicated. He has now been charged with evading, DWI, failure to stop and render aid, and intoxication assault.
In addition to the woman who was ejected, three others, including a child, were taken for treatment to a hospital. The details of their injuries have not been released.
This case highlights again the extreme risks imposed by high-speed police chases. In fact, prior chases have resulted in fatalities.
Certainly, police want to, and should, apprehend those suspected of violating the law. But, at the same time, they need to avoid imposing additional and greater hazards upon members of our community who are lawfully using our streets. Other cities in this country have faced the same problem and have fashioned policies in response. They address the need to arrest suspected lawbreakers while not precipitating a hazardous, potentially deadly, chase with suspects who might be reckless, dangerous, or even intoxicated. It is time for city and county leaders to form and empower a commission to study the solutions to this issue, and to make recommendations for policy changes to local law enforcement officials before any other motorists are injured or killed.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident with a drunk driver, contact an experienced attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling (713) 222-7211 or toll free at 713-222-7211.