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Officer Critically Injured In Crash During Pursuit

Officer Critically Injured In Crash During Pursuit

Fort Worth police officers investigate the scene where a fellow officer slid off of Interstate 30 and Ederville Road near the 820 interchange in E. Fort Worth.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram via YellowBrix

July 09, 2010

FORT WORTH, TX – A Fort Worth police officer was critically injured Thursday afternoon when his patrol car slammed into a tree during a pursuit down Interstate 30.

The officer, a 15-year veteran of the department, was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth with life-threatening injuries, said a spokesman for MedStar.

The officer was involved in the pursuit of a motorcyclist who had fled a suspected drug house in Mansfield. He lost control of his vehicle and slammed into a tree on the south side of the freeway.

Police said he was the lone occupant of the patrol car. His name was not released, although officials said he worked in the East Division patrol unit. His family asked that hospital officials release no information about his condition.

The crash occurred about 1:50 p.m. on the entrance ramp to eastbound Interstate 30, west of Sandy Lane.

Police Chief Jeff Halstead and Mayor Mike Moncrief arrived at John Peter Smith after the crash and made a few remarks, including asking for prayers from the people of Fort Worth.

Terry Grisham, a Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department spokesman, said the incident began as sheriff’s deputies conducted surveillance of the house in Mansfield.

“We had information there was large amounts of methamphetamines inside this house,” Grisham said.

Grisham said deputies spotted two motorcyclists leave the residence.

“One did not have a license plate, so we attempted to effect a traffic stop, and that’s when the pursuit took off,” Grisham said.

Grisham said at some point, the motorcyclists split up.

Deputies and Fort Worth police, who had been asked to assist in the pursuit, were chasing one of the motorcyclists when the crash occurred. Both motorcyclists escaped, Grisham said.

Joyce3

A Fort Worth police officer suffered life-threatening injuries in this crash along I-30 in east Fort Worth.

Sommerdawn Sibley, 20, of Mansfield told reporters that she saw a motorcycle being chased by a sheriff’s department K-9 unit SUV on northbound Loop 820.

She said that the motorcycle was “flying” and that she believed that he would never be caught.

Grisham said the sheriff’s office will investigate whether the deputies should have begun the pursuit in the first place.

“The license plate is not enough to get in a pursuit over,” he said. “They’re going to have a bunch of explaining to do.”

Grisham said that the deputies believed that since the motorcyclists had been in a house that reportedly contained “felony amounts of drugs,” that “they could that they could go ahead and extend the (pursuit) policy.”

“We are certainly going to look into it,” he said.

Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson, who arrived at the scene after the crash, said supervisors are in charge of a high-speed chase and have the authority to “let it continue or stop it.”

“That is their charge,” Anderson said. “In some situations, 50 mph is too fast, and in others, 80 mph is OK, if you think about it. We’re not trying to put them in a black and white thing.”

The sheriff said the department’s concern is “with this officer and his family and what they’re going through right now. It’s just heart-wrenching for all involved.”

Two lanes of I-30 were closed as investigators worked the crash scene, according to Traffic.com.

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/07/08/2322211/fort-worth-officer-apparently.html#ixzz0tBpnisf1


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