Officer Jeffrey Richardson Killed by Vehicle off MoPac Expressway in Austin, TX
UPDATE (June 30, 2022): Reports have identified the victim of this accident as Poteet PD officer Jeffrey Richardson. Officer Richardson sadly died of his injuries at a local hospital.
The driver that struck Richardson, later identified as 26-year-old Lindsey Smith, was arrested on intoxication assault charges per the results of a blood draw.
Austin, TX — June 29, 2022, an off-duty law enforcement officer was critically injured by a vehicle off the MoPac Expressway in North Austin.
According to reports the incident happened around 2:10 a.m. on the 11700 block of the North MoPac service road, near The Domain. Preliminary investigation suggests the officer was directing traffic near a construction zone when a vehicle hit them. It is unclear which agency the officer worked for.
The 35-year-old officer was transported to an area hospital in critical condition. The driver who hit them remained at the scene and was arrested on unspecified charges.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Ofc Jeffrey Richardson Accident in Austin
UPDATE (June 30, 2022): It seems from the reported charges that police think alcohol was a factor here. As I mentioned before, that may mean there are more things to investigate since Texas dram shop law could hold a local business accountable for the damage done if it over-served the driver before she hit the victim.
Unfortunately, dram shop violations generally get little attention from police. If something like that is suspected it's usually best to get help from independent investigators who will get the necessary proof. Armed with receipts, witness statements, video footage, and other evidence, many people hurt by reckless over-service have held bad businesses accountable for breaking the law and contributing to their injuries.
ORIGINAL: This is clearly a serious incident and it sounds like the driver who hit the officer may face some consequences for doing so. Exactly which consequences would probably depend on why they hit the officer in the first place, however. Were they not paying attention? Speeding? Drunk? Only further investigation could say, but I'd imagine the victim would appreciate some answers.
Moreover, if impairment was an issue here then the victim may also have some legal recourse to seek help with their recovery. Under Texas dram shop law, a licensed alcohol vendor that sells or serves drinks to an obviously intoxicated customer may be liable for any injuries that customer causes while under the influence. Put another way, bars that help their patrons get far too drunk can be held responsible for the damage those customers do after stumbling out the door.
To be clear, drunk driving is only one possible explanation for the incident in Austin. I'm not saying I know alcohol was a factor, let alone that a local business over-served it, but both are important considerations when getting to the bottom of what happened. The victim deserves answers about what happened to them, and everyone responsible for the damage done should be held properly accountable.