From the afternoon of Friday, September 10, till the first hours of Saturday, September 11, at least four Texas police officers were involved in car accidents across the state. While, thankfully, two of those accidents didn’t result in any major injuries, the third led to a 12-year-old being ejected and subsequently hospitalized.
Details About the Police-Involved Accidents
The first accident happened sometime in the afternoon on Friday. According to Houston authorities, a wrong-way driver caused a five-vehicle crash on North Wayside near Clinton Drive. One person was trapped in their vehicle, but no major injuries were reported. This incident involved an officer in plain clothes. The cause of the crash has not yet been determined.
Also on Friday, at around 9 p.m., a Harris County Precinct 4 deputy constable was involved in a crash that injured four, including a 12-year-old who was thrown from the vehicle in the crash. The incident occurred as the constable was traveling southbound on Veterans Memorial near Bammel North Houston Road.
The constable was responding to a call for assistance and had his lights and sirens engaged at the time of the crash. A vehicle carrying at least three passengers pulled out in front of the officer’s car and was struck. The collision involved three other vehicles nearby. Three passengers from the first vehicle struck were hospitalized, including the 12-year-old. No other serious injuries were reported.
Finally, in the first hours of Saturday morning, two Dallas police cars were struck while they were on the scene of another crash. At around 2:42 a.m., the two vehicles were parked in the 1100 block of E. Northwest Highway when one was hit by a Buick LeSabre, sending it crashing into the second cruiser. According to the officers, the Buick didn’t slow down as it approached the patrol cars, despite the warning lights and sirens.
One officer who was sitting in one of the vehicles at the time of the crash was hospitalized as a precaution, but no serious injuries were reported in association with this crash.
Are Police Officer Crashes on the Rise in Texas?
Given the high number of officer accidents seen in Texas this past weekend, you might be wondering whether police-involved crashes are always so common or if things have somehow gotten worse. Unfortunately, the latter is true in this case: since 2010, the number of police vehicles crashed annually has increased by more than 50%, from 1,826 to 2,807.
The series of accidents listed above occurred over the course of roughly 12 hours and involved four police vehicles. This rate of accidents per hour actually matches almost perfectly with that seen on average in 2020.
While it might be clear that police crashes have increased over the past decade, it’s not so clear why. It’s worth noting that police-involved crashes are far from the only type of accident to increase over the past decade: ambulance crashes increased by roughly 40% and accidents involving fire trucks have increased by nearly 60% in that time.
This suggests that, rather than being caused by increasingly reckless officers, the rise in cop crashes can be attributed to an overall increase in roadway danger and reckless driving.
With that in mind, it’s never been more important to take care when sharing the road with emergency vehicles. While not all police vehicles will use sirens and lights, drivers should always keep an eye and an ear out in case they need to move out of the way.
If you’ve been injured in a police-involved crash in Texas, contact the Houston car accident attorneys of Lapeze & Johns to learn about your options for seeking relief.