WALLER COUNTY, Texas—A Katy police officer involved in a crash that killed a woman and her 13-year-old son on the Katy Freeway Thursday morning has been fired from his job.
Officer Cody Parchman was on the force for less than a month.
Investigators say Parchman handed over the keys to his truck to a friend after a night of partying at a local bar.
But state troopers said that friend, 23-year-old Taylor McShan of Sealy, had also been drinking and had a suspended license.
The two men were headed westbound on I-10 near Peach Ridge around 2:45 a.m. when McShan drove the truck into a disabled vehicle on the side of the freeway, troopers said.
That vehicle belonged to 48-year-old Katherin Addison. Addison, a mother of four, was changing a flat tire when the impact occurred. Her youngest son, 13-year-old Kendall, was inside the car.
Katherin Addison was killed instantly, troopers said, but the force of the crash pushed her car across all lanes of traffic.
It burst into flames with Kendall still inside. Investigators said it was unclear if the boy was killed by the crash or the fire.
Another of Addison’s sons, Christopher, said he pulled up to the scene just after the crash. He said he’d been on the phone with them just moments before the accident and was trying to find them on the highway so he could help.
"I talked to my brother, and all I saw was fire. There was nothing I could do – just watch," Christopher Addison said.
McShan was taken to the hospital, and later transferred to the Waller County Jail. He’s been charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter.
Parchman, who was uninjured in the crash, was initially suspended with pay, pending an internal investigation. But Katy Police Chief Bill Hastings on Friday said they decided to let him go.
"The thing we want to express is our grief," Hastings said.
Hastings said up until this point, Parchman had been a good cop who made good decisions. But Hastings said he knew Parchman was drunk at the time of the accident, because Hastings went out to the scene.
Addison’s family said they believe Parchman should face charges, too.
"Two innocent lives gone behind drinking," said Vickie Johnson. "The police officer should have been charged just as well. If you’re wrong, you’re wrong."
Christopher Addison said Parchman’s firing did little to ease their pain.
"It would have meant more if he was remorseful at the scene," Christopher Addison said.
It was not clear if Parchman would face any criminal charges in the case, but Hastings said the former officer does not plan to appeal his firing.
Meanwhile, the Addisons were just trying to cope with the loss of two people they say lived only to help others.
"I’ve got two holes in my heart. My brother, my mom – gone. And … It’s tough," Christopher Addison said.