Houston police officer hit, killed pedestrian on Aldine Bender in Harris County

A Houston police officer fatally struck a pedestrian with his patrol vehicle while responding to call overnight, officials say.

Family members identified the man who died in the crash as 24-year-old Caleb Swafford.

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The crash occurred around midnight in the 5500 block of Aldine Bender Road. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is investigating because the crash occurred in their jurisdiction. 

The sheriff’s office says the officer was traveling westbound in the middle lane when he struck the pedestrian. Authorities say the officer turned around and started lifesaving measures, but he did not survive his injuries.

Family members at the scene described Swafford as a good guy and the life of the party who likes to make everyone laugh. Friends believe he was crossing the street on his way to visit another friend.

His family and friends questioned the officer’s actions, including how fast he may have been driving.

Sean Teare, Chief of the Harris County District Attorney's Office Vehicular Crimes Division, says the crash remains under investigation as authorities work to determine the officer's speed, lighting conditions and other potential factors.

Teare says the officer was responding to a call, but it wasn’t "Code 1", so it didn’t require lights and sirens.

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The police department says the officer will be placed on administrative leave, likely desk duty, until the investigation is resolved.

Once the investigation is complete, the findings will be presented to a grand jury to determine what, if any, charges are appropriate.