Off-duty HPD officer refuses sobriety test after deadly head-on crash in Ft. Bend Co., deputies say

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas – A veteran Houston police officer has been relieved of duty following a suspected drunk-driving fatal accident in Fort Bend County Friday morning.

The off-duty officer, on the job with HPD since September 2009, refused a field sobriety test following the wreck in his personal vehicle, according to the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office.

Brian Manring, 36, was in his Chevy Corvette about 6:30 a.m., headed eastbound on Beechnut near FM 1464, when the off-duty officer's much heavier Chevy Tahoe hit the sportscar head-on.

Manring's fiberglass-body Corvette was peeled apart in the violent wreck. Manring, the father of a young girl, was pronounced dead at the scene.

There were no passengers in either vehicle.

"We obtained a search warrant to draw blood on the Tahoe driver," Maj. Chad Norvell, with the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office, said.

The results of that blood test will determine the criminal charges, if any, Norvell said.

"He was just a big kid, always trying to improve himself, a great dad. We will miss him so much," Mindy Nees, a longtime friend of Manring, said.

Manring was jokingly called the Candy Man in some circles because he worked in the vending machine business.

Nees said he was on his way to workout when he was killed a few miles from his home.

The Houston Police Department relieved the officer of duty Friday. He is still being paid, pending the outcome of Fort Bend County's probe.

The officer had most recently been assigned to Patrol at the Mid-West substation, near Harwin and Hillcroft.

"He really robbed us of a friend, and a little girl of a great father," Nees said.