Wreck aftermath caught on tape

March 15, 2008 8:02:25 AM PDT
A Houston police officer was involved in a multi-car accident with the aftermath caught on tape. But the officer's bizarre behavior after the crash has some people looking for answers. He was in an unmarked police car when he hit three cars in midtown. The Houston Police Department says the officer in question was having a diabetic seizure when the crash occurred. But crash victims say they're not sure that's what happened.

Home video shows the aftermath of the multi-car crash. Witnesses say on March 6, a white truck hit three vehicles before coming to a stop at a Midtown CVS store. Celia Valles was the first driver hit.

"He was very distraught and incoherent, just kept, 'I'm sorry, sir, I'm sorry, sir,' not even realizing I'm a female victim," said Valles. "He wouldn't give us insurance information or his driver's license."

The Houston Police Department has confirmed that the white pickup was being driven by narcotics officer Rodolfo A. Castaneda. We got conflicting reports of whether Castaneda works undercover, but Friday afternoon, HPD told us Castaneda was having a diabetic episode when he hit three cars and that the investigation isn't over.

"We have no idea whether or not the officer has done something wrong," said Captain Bruce Williams with the Houston Police Department. "We don't know whether or not there is a chargable offense in this accident. We just know we have an accident."

HPD says Castaneda is now on desk duty and he no longer drives that city vehicle involved in the crash. But the man who videotaped the accident, Randall Kallinen of the American Rights Association, remains unsatisfied.

"The people he ran into were two lawyers and individuals who worked at a hospital, so these were law-abiding citizens," he said. "All he had to do was state this information and wait for the police to come. Why he ran from the scene of three separate accident is a mystery"

As for the victims, Valles says she's not angry and wants the officer to fully recover from whatever the situation may be. But she does wonder if an average citizen would have been treated the same way.

"Even after those three incidents hitting us all, I think any other normal citizen probably would have been handcuffed, put in the back of a vehicle, and transported down to the city jail," she said.

HPD says it was well aware that the officer is a diabetic, but this was the first time that something happened on the job. However, the department says that routine blood work was done in relation to this accident and the investigating is continuing.

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