Woman was drinking at strip club before crash killing Pearland officer, PD says

By Phil Archer - Reporter

PEARLAND - A former school principal charged in the drunken driving death of a rookie Pearland police officer was drinking at a Houston strip club before the accident early Sunday, according to an affidavit.

Endy Ekpanya, 31 was traveling on eastbound on FM 518 when a car driven by Amber Willemsen, 38, headed westbound allegedly crossed into the eastbound lane, striking Ekpanya's patrol car near Country Club Lane around 3:15 a.m. Both were rushed to Memorial Hermann Hospital where Ekpanya was pronounced dead.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed by the Brazoria County district attorney, Willemsen was interviewed at the hospital by Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Darien Norman, who found her strapped to a gurney with “red glassy eyes and slurred speech.”

According to the affidavit, Willemsen said she was heading to a friend's house in Friendswood after leaving work at the Ritz Gentleman's Club, 10500 block Gulf Freeway, around 2:30 a.m.

Police said Willemsen admitted drinking a beer and two cocktails while working at the club between 6 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning, according to the affidavit, and told the trooper she couldn't remember hitting the officer's car.

At the time of the crash, Willemsen was facing trial for possession of methamphetamine following an arrest in Harris County May 29. In 2012, she was convicted of misdemeanor DWI and spent two years on probation.

The same year she resigned her job as an assistant principal at Bauerschlage Elementary School in League City.

According to her Linked-In profile page, for the last three years, she has been working as an English teacher for K-12, an online education site.

A blood sample was taken from her at the hospital and she was later charged charged with intoxication manslaughter of a police officer. Pearland police said she is still being treated at Memorial Hermann Hospital for injuries sustained in the accident. She'll be transferred to the Brazoria County jail once she's released.

2016 Click2Houston/KPRC2