Sheriff’s deputies in Texas had just arrested a suspected drunken driver Sunday night in Houston — only to have a “highly intoxicated” driver going the wrong way slam into their patrol car, police said.
A Harris County sheriff’s deputy and his trainee were driving a DWI suspect to jail after the 42-year-old man was involved in a major crash, according to a news release. Then a driver in a 2013 Lexus going the wrong way on a tollway crashed into the patrol car about 11:30 p.m., the release said.
Both cars were smashed from the front of the engine to the windshield, pictures show.
“It wasn’t like a wrong turn,” Sean Teare, chief of the vehicular crimes division in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, said in a video posted on Twitter. “This guy was going for quite awhile the wrong way on Westpark tollway before he hit these three people.”
The DWI suspect in the patrol car died on the way to the hospital, while the sheriff’s deputies were seriously injured but in stable condition, authorities said in the video. The deputy had two broken bones in his foot and numerous cuts and bruises, and the probationary deputy had a head injury, according to the release.
The driver going the wrong way also was taken to the hospital with a broken leg, according to the news release. He was later identified as Patrick M. Njogu, 39, and charged with murder, according to the news release.
Njogu has been charged with drunken driving five times, including three convictions in Illinois and Missouri, the release said.
“This is an epidemic on our roadways,” Teare said in the video. “We’re out here so many nights dealing with this. It needs to be a wake up call for everyone involved.”
The district attorney’s office is investigating where Njogu was drinking and the extent of the deputies’ injuries to determine whether more charges could be filed, Teare said.
On Monday, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted his condolences.
“We pray for the speedy recovery of our two deputies and our condolences to the family of the deceased male,” Gonzalez said.