Pct. 3 captain fatally hits pedestrian with cruiser

Deputies are investigating a fatal auto-pedestrian crash. An off-duty officer struck and killed a female pedestrian.
April 3, 2011 7:57:49 PM PDT
A woman is dead and a deputy constable shaken up after investigators say she was hit by his patrol car in east Houston. People who work in the area say it's not uncommon for people run across that part of the freeway. The deputy told investigators he just didn't see her.

The crash happened off the East Freeway and Sheldon early Sunday. There are no fewer than seven or eight motels along this stretch of highway, and several people say this accident may be part of a bigger problem.

Around 2am Sunday, deputies responded to a familiar call. A woman was crossing eight lanes of I-10, dodging traffic. But she didn't make it to the other side.

An off duty Harris County Precinct 3 Constable's Office patrol car -- driven by veteran deputy Capt. Joe Eaglin -- struck her near the center median, tossing her onto the pavement.

By the time emergency officials got there, the woman was dead.

Pct. 3 officials said Eaglin has been on the force for more than 30 years. Estimated to be in his 60s, he was released from the hospital Sunday morning with minor cuts and rattled nerves.

Drug and alcohol tests were performed on the captain per protocol. All came back negative.

"Yeah, I see sometimes, especially at night, people crossing to get to that Texaco or wherever, you know," motel owner Yogesh Karsan said.

Karsan has run a motel in the area for 20 years. He and several others say there is a high volume of drug trafficking and prostitution in the area.

While he didn't witness last night's accident, he's seen other people -- even some of his customers -- dart across in the darkness of night, in a similar fashion.

"[They would] like, take the chance. Run, then stop, and like that," Karsan explained. "That's how I saw it."

The woman's identity was not released Sunday. HCSO is investigating the incident. No charges are expected to be filed against Eaglin.


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