ABC13 obtained surveillance footage of the crash, which shows the patrol car traveling northbound on North Shepherd and crashing into a car making a left turn onto Thorton Road. The crash happened at about noon.
The impact of the crash was so strong that the patrol car’s wheels came off the pavement, and the other car was pushed down the road.
The video shows the patrol car did not have its lights on, but the Harris County District Attorney’s Office says it’s too soon to tell.
“We’ve still got to find out if he was on a call or responding to something,” Sean Teare, the chief of vehicular crimes with the district attorney’s office, said. “We don’t have that information yet.”
Family members identified the victim as 77-year-old Charles Payne Senior. Payne was driving home from church, according to the family. His son, Kevin Payne, believes speed may have played a factor based on speaking with witnesses and the damage. The speed limit is 35 mph in the area where the crash happened.
“My father’s car was destroyed,” Payne said. “Our main concern is to find out whether the police officer was at fault for killing my father.”
The officer was taken to the hospital with minor injuries but is expected to be released from the hospital soon.
The district attorney’s office will also be running an investigation.
“Sadly we have had a number of fatalities where officers have been involved,” Teare said. “In every one of those, we are going side by side with our partners at HPD and the vehicular crime division. We will come to the truth and figure out what happened.”
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