Speeding Officer Kills Two Teens in Crash
While Houston car accident attorneys are regularly exposed to the realities of traffic accidents, it is still striking to them when a police officer is the cause of a motor vehicle crash. Police officer are expected to prevent crime, accidents and tragedies, not cause them. Unfortunately, life does not always work that way, and police officers are sometimes the cause of the very incidents they are meant to prevent.
In Wichita Falls an initial accident report showed that an officer was traveling at a high rate of speed when his patrol car hit a vehicle containing two teenagers, killing them both. The Texas Department of Public Safety after a more detailed investigation reports that Officer Teddie Whitefield was driving at least 80 miles per hour when he struck the car carrying the teens.
The teenagers had come to a complete stop at a stop sign, then proceeded through the intersection when Whitefield’s patrol car slammed into the passenger side of the vehicle. 18-year old Yeni Lopez and her cousin 13-years old Gloria Montoya both died in the accident. Lopez was also pregnant, which makes the June 30th accident even more devastating. The Texas DOS report also said that Whitfield “took no evasive action when a reasonable person would have,” to avoid the crash.
The Texas DOS report states that Whitefield had taken two different prescription medications earlier in the day. Although the names of the medications have not been released or specified they may be the reason for Whitfield’s erratic driving and speeding.
When taking prescription medications, the prescribing doctor and/or the pharmacist where you retrieve your prescription will tell you the side effects of the medications, and whether you should be operating a motor vehicle under the influence of your medication. If a reaction to prescription medication is what caused Whiting to drive so unsafely, it is something that he should have been well aware of, and most likely should not have been driving at all.
The public relies on police officers not only to protect its citizens and defend and uphold the law, but also serve as an example to people. Police officers are of course still human beings, but they also serve as very important role models to a community. It is that much more appalling when an officer commits a senseless, preventable crime.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a motor vehicle accident or may have grounds for a wrongful death case, call Houston car accident attorney Joe Stephens today at 713.224.0000 for a free consultation. Joe Stephens is an experienced Houston injury attorney with over 26 years serving the South Texas community. He will expertly handle every aspect of your case on both a professional and personal level because he understands what a difficult time you may be facing. Call Joe Stephens today, or fill out a contact form, and a member of The Stephens Law Firm will contact you within 24 hours to schedule your free consultation.