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September 7th, 2010

HPD Patrol Car Fatal Accident

Debate Over Fatal Accident Involving Houston Police Department Patrol Car

Questions are being raised about a fatal accident last week involving a HPD patrol car.  Houston Police Department Patrol Man Kyle Dozier was driving his patrol car at approximately 60 mph when he crashed into a vehicle during a car chase.  The couple in the other car sustained the brunt of the impact.  A female passenger in the car was killed instantly, while her husband suffered critical injuries.  The accident occurred in the 7600 of South Braeswood.   The speed limit in that area is 35 mph.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Dozier was driving without his emergency lights and sirens switched on.  The Houston Police Department says that he was responding to a Code 2 situation.  The standard response to a Code 2 situation is to drive without the lights and sirens on.  However, a trooper is expected to obey traffic rules during the chase.  If he decides to activate the sirens and emergency lights, then he must inform a dispatcher about this decision.  If Dozier was speeding at the time, he was required to switch on his lights and siren.  Besides, an investigation of the crash scene shows that the patrol car’s tires left no skid marks at the scene, indicating that he did not attempt to apply the brakes just before the crash.

The investigation is still ongoing, and Houston accident reconstruction experts are piecing together the minutes before the crash.  For now, police believe that the couple in the car was trying to make a left turn into their driveway when the car was struck by the patrol car.

This isn’t the first such crash involving a speeding police car and innocent motorists who got in the way.  As Houston car accident lawyers, we hope that this incident will raise serious questions about the HPD’s policies about high- pursuit chases.  The most important thing right now is to find out if this police officer followed all protocols relating to activating emergency lights and sirens while accelerating speeds.

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