Texas Wreck Again Shows Dangers of Police Pursuits


Dickinson, Texas, police said they will conduct a procedural review of a six-fatality crash during a high-speed pursuit Sunday night, reports the Houston Chronicle, though a spokesman said a preliminary review suggests the officer involved followed procedures. The driver of the fleeing car, Juan Garcia Ahuezoteco, 23, was wanted on a felony DWI warrant. The chase lasted just 90 seconds before Ahuezoteco’s SUV collided at an intersection with a Honda Accord, killing a couple, their son and another relative. Ahuezoteco and a passenger in his SUV also were killed.

Dickinson’s eight-page policy on vehicle pursuit begins, “Pursuing officers and supervisors must justify their actions and, once they decided to pursue, continuously evaluate the safety of their actions.” The inherent danger of high-speed chases has caused many departments to limit their use, said Michael W. Quinn, CEO of International Ethics and Leadership Training Bureau, which trains police officers. “Nationally, there is a movement to reduce police chases,” Quinn said. “The odds of someone getting killed go up exponentially with speed.” Many departments call off chases if they pose a threat. “For the cop on the street, it’s against all your instincts to let somebody go,” Quinn said. “Are you putting more people at risk by pursuing or putting more people at risk by letting him go?”

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