HOUSTON – An officer involved in a crash that killed a 75-year-old man Sunday has been relieved of duty, according to the Houston Police Department.
The crash happened at 4600 North Shepherd Drive at around 12 p.m. The family of the victim, Charles Payne, 75, said he was leaving church when the crash happened.
Investigators said an HPD officer was driving a patrol vehicle northbound as Payne, who was driving a brown Cadillac CTS, was traveling in the southbound lanes and turned left toward Thornton Road. The patrol vehicle then struck the Cadillac as it attempted to cross the northbound lanes of North Shepherd, HPD said.
Paramedics transported Payne to Memorial Hermann - Texas Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The officer was also transported to a hospital with minor injuries, investigators said.
The crash is being investigated by the HPD Vehicular Crimes and Internal Affairs Divisions, as well as the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
The officer was relieved of duty pending the outcome of the investigation.
Family Pushes for Accountability
The family of Payne said they are demanding accountability after gathering more surveillance video from neighboring businesses, which showed the crash from multiple angles.
The family said the officer appeared to be going at a high rate of speed before crashing into their father’s Cadillac head-on.
“The officer was doing way over the speed limit. He broke the law and he should be held accountable,” Kevin Payne, Charles Payne’s son, said.
Houston Police released the following statement in regards to the incident:
The incident is being investigated by the HPD Vehicular Crimes and Internal Affairs Divisions, as well as the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. The officer has been relieved of duty pending the outcome of the investigation.
Roderick Dearborne, another son of Charles Payne, said HPD reached out to their family.
“They said the officer was off duty, that [the investigator] wasn’t going to be biased in the investigation,” Dearborne said.
Charles leaves behind seven children and 13 grandchildren.
“He was a God-fearing man. He was dedicated to his religion and to his family,” Kevin said.
The family said the videos are telling and hope police would have been more supportive to the family.
“A human being in a car speeding kills another human being,” Dearborne said.
“The law applies to everybody. No one is above the law,” Kevin said.
KPRC 2 reached out to HPD after speaking with the family. HPD said they could not comment further due to the pending investigation.