Police Officer Injured by Alleged DWI Driver on Parmer Lane in Austin, TX
Austin, TX -- April 28, 2022, an Austin PD officer was injured when an alleged DWI driver hit his patrol car on West Parmer Lane in Northwest Austin.
Authorities say the incident happened around 12:30 a.m. on West Parmer near Highway 45. Preliminary investigation suggests the APD officer was in his vehicle at the site of another accident when the suspect's car rear-ended the patrol unit.
The officer was transported to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries. The driver of the car that hit him was reportedly arrested for DWI.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on APD Officer Accident on Parmer Ln in Austin
It's highly frustrating to learn of yet another alleged drunk-driving crash on Texas roads, yet a dozen or more make it into the headlines every single day across the Lone Star State. Even worse, a member of law enforcement was the victim in this crash--something about flashing emergency lights has a unique "moth to a flame" effect on DWI drivers as they get target fixation on the lights and lose control of their vehicles.
Hopefully after making that DWI arrest police took the important step of collecting samples for toxicological testing. Conclusive evidence, most often in the form of those tests' results, is typically necessary to make a DWI charge stick. What's more, if it's found the suspect was dangerously intoxicated then it's important to find out where he was drinking that night. Why? Because if a local business over-served him when he was obviously intoxicated then they may be legally responsible for the damage he did under Texas dram shop law.
Some may think all this talk of chasing down a negligent bar isn't really necessary since the victim's injuries were supposedly minor. I certainly hope early reports have that part right, but those injuries should still be taken seriously. There's no telling yet whether they're really as innocuous as reports make them seem.
A while back I worked on a case where a man's vehicle was rear-ended and he thought he was lucky to only have a sore back out of it. Doctors told him to stay off his feet and use a heating pad, but while trying to rest at home his pain exploded until he was almost paralyzed by it. A trip to the ER showed he actually had a ruptured spinal disk that needed surgery and lengthy rehabilitation. What reports first called a "minor" injury was really anything but.
Obviously I hope nothing like that happens in Austin and there's no reason to think it will. That other crash is just a lesson in the importance of taking even seemingly-simple accidents seriously and putting in the work to find all their facts. "Better safe than sorry," as they say, and these wrecks are no exception.