Man in patrol car killed, 2 deputies hurt in crash with suspected drunk driver

A man in the back seat of a patrol cruiser died and two Harris County deputies were seriously injured in a crash with a suspected drunk driver.

The wrong-way crash was reported at around 11:30 p.m. Sunday on Westpark Tollway near Synott Road.

Authorities say the deputies had just arrested a man and were taking him to jail when a Lexus traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes hit them head-on.

Deputies say everyone in the patrol cruiser were wearing seat restraints, and all occupants in both vehicles were taken to the hospital.

The man who was in the backseat of the patrol cruiser died at the hospital. One deputy received two broken bones in his foot, bruising and lacerations and is in stable condition. The other deputy received a head injury and is in stable condition.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office identified the driver of the Lexus as 39-year-old Patrick M Njogu. He sustained a broken leg in the crash.

Sean Teare with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office says the wrong-way driver, based on preliminary blood testing, had a blood alcohol content of more than twice the legal limit.

According to Teare, the wrong-way driver will be charged with felony murder in this case because he has three previous DWI convictions. The sheriff's office says the convictions were from Illinois and Missouri.

Teare says he’ll also be charged with a count of aggravated assault of a peace officer because one of the deputies sustained “serious bodily injury”. Both of those charges carry sentences of five to 99 years in prison if convicted.

Teare says the DA’s office is investigating where the driver got the alcohol. If an establishment over-served him, Teare says it will also face penalties.