HOUSTON – A detained woman was killed and an officer was injured when a driver hit a Houston police cruiser in downtown early Wednesday, police said.
According to officers with the Houston Police Department, a 21-year-old woman driving a red Chevrolet Cobalt slammed into the HPD cruiser on Chartres Street at Texas Street around 3:35 a.m. The driver and her passenger reportedly suffered minor injuries.
The officer whose car was hit also suffered minor injuries. She was put on a stretcher and taken to the hospital to get checked out. Her passenger, the detainee, was thrown from the patrol car and died at the scene.
According to HPD, the detainee was taken into custody on the grounds of Hobby Airport earlier in the morning after it was determined she was a hazard to herself. She was being transported to a sobriety center when the rear of the patrol car was struck from the side. Police said the handcuffed woman was thrown from the car.
“Our policy is to have them seat-belted in,” said Sgt. Ignacia Izaguire. “That is currently under investigation, whether that policy was followed or not.”
An area resident who tried to assist the officer and the wounded detainee said accidents are common at that intersection. Apparently a freeway overpass blocks the traffic lights as drivers approach, making it difficult to see if the light is green or red.
Izaguire said the officer involved in the wreck is a veteran of 15 years with Houston police.
In a separate incident, an HPD lieutenant responding to the crash in an unmarked car was involved in a wreck himself at an intersection just a few blocks away. The officer was said to be okay, but the driver of the other vehicle was sent to the hospital with minor injuries.