HOUSTON — A Houston police officer and the passenger of a Lexus were injured in a crash in northwest Houston Thursday.
Police said the wreck happened around 10 a.m. in the area of West Little York Road near Hempstead.
District Attorney Sean Teare said in a news conference that the driver of the Lexus neglected two traffic control devices before the wreck: the arms of a train crossing with flashing red lights and a red light. When the driver went through the red light at the intersection, the Lexus and the HPD Chevy Tahoe hit head-on.
Teare said several witnesses saw that the officer had the green light at the time of the crash. Tears sad the light had been green for a while.
"Based on a number of witnesses at the scene, they are all in unison that the officer had the green light," Teare said. " And it wasn't one that had just turned green, it was a long green light meaning, the red light the person disregarded was a stale red light. That driver disregarded two emergency and traffic control devices, and because of that, we have a woman fighting for her life."
The female passenger of the Lexus was taken to a hospital with serious injuries, police said.
Teare said the officer was not responding to a call and investigators don't believe speed was a factor in the wreck.
The man driving the Lexus is charged with reckless aggravated assault, which is a second-degree felony. He could face up to 20 years in prison. If the passenger dies, those charges could be upgraded.
The officer, who is a 13-year veteran of the Houston Police Department, and currently serving on SWAT, is not charged, Teare said.
Teare said there would be further investigation on speed, toxicology, though the driver of Lexus showed no signs of intoxication, and crash reconstruction.