HOUSTON – One person is in critical condition and an officer with the Houston Police Department is injured following a crash involving an HPD patrol unit in southwest Houston Thursday, authorities said.
It happened at the intersection of Beechnut and Highway 6 at around 12:46 a.m.
According to investigators, it started as a traffic stop and turned into a chase. The patrol vehicle hit another car that wasn’t involved in the chase, investigators said.
“I was coming straight back from Highway 6 North and there was a car going immediately fast, coming straight from that way. And it was throwing sparks on the ground on how fast he was,” a witness told KPRC 2′s Brittany Jeffers.
Investigators said it initially started as a traffic stop. Officers spotted a vehicle that didn’t match the license plate but the driver took off, HPD said.
Police said they continued to chase the suspect but crashed into an innocent driver at the intersection. The driver was extricated from the vehicle and taken by Life Flight to the hospital in critical condition.
The patrol unit the officer was in reportedly caught on fire. The officer went to the hospital with some pain but the officer’s condition is unknown, authorities said.
According to HPD, the emergency lights were active on the patrol vehicle at the time of the crash but investigators will also be reviewing body camera footage.
Police said the suspect still hasn’t been caught.
The HPD Vehicular Crimes Division is conducting the investigation.
Houston police announced Thursday afternoon that the officers involved in the chase have been relieved of duty pending an Internal Affairs Division Investigation.