Deputies Injured, Prisoner Killed in Collision with Drunk Driver in Harris County
Police say a man with a history of DUI convictions in different states was driving in the wrong direction Sunday night when he slammed head-on into a Harris County Sheriff's Office vehicle transporting a prisoner.
Sheriff Ed Gonzalez reported that two deputies were injured and the prisoner was killed. The deputies, who were transporting the prisoner to a county jail, suffered unspecified fractures and were taken to a local hospital.
KHOU reports that the collision occurred in an eastbound lane of the Westpark Tollway at an entrance ramp. Police told KHOU that the suspect faces a murder charge, and could be hit with additional charges depending on how things go with the deputies. The suspect reportedly has at least three prior DUI convictions in other states. He suffered a broken leg in the crash.
Investigators said charges could be pressed on whoever served the man before he got behind the wheel.
KTRK-TV identified the suspect as 39-year-old Patrick Njogu, and reported that he could face an additional charge of intoxicated assault on a police officer.
Every time I share a story like this, I think about how easily tragedy could have been avoided. KHOU and KTRK report that the prisoner who was killed was stopped for driving while inebriated. If he'd stopped at a few drinks and given himself time to sober up, if he'd called for a ride or an Uber, or if he'd just slept if off before driving, he wouldn't have been in the back of that car. Those deputies probably wouldn't have been on that stretch of road. And if the suspect had been responsible too, none of this would have happened.
My point is that when you go out drinking, give some thought to what you'll do if you have too many. Think about how easily it could be you in a situation like this. Is it worth killing someone or getting yourself killed?
Just something to think about.