Dignitaries injured in wreck at HPD driving course

Several were injured in an accident involving two HPD squad vehicles during a demonstration.

September 20, 2011 2:33:02 PM PDT
A major accident at the Houston Police Department's training academy sent seven people to the hospital. It happened as the department was demonstrating some of their training practices to a group of law enforcement officials from China.

Police are calling what happened at the center in northeast Houston an unfortunate accident. Now they are investigating to determine exactly what went wrong.

From SkyEye HD we were able to get a good look at the damage moments after two Houston police patrol cars collided on a track off Aldine Westfield and Rankin Road just after 9am Tuesday. This wreck injured two local officers and a group of law enforcement dignitaries visiting from Shenzhen, China.

"They were taking a tour of our academy here, looking at all our facilities that we have," said HPD spokesperson Victor Senties. "They were also witnessing, some were actually riding in, a demonstration that we were conducting on our driving track."

That demonstration ended with a collision. Investigators tell Eyewitness News each of the HPD training officers had three passengers from the visiting Chinese group in their squad cars. Police say the trainers were demonstrating a U-turn maneuver used during police chases when something went seriously wrong.

Senties said, "At some point during the maneuver there was a timing issue, and both vehicles struck each other."

The crash left the two driving trainers, four passengers and a spectator with injuries, according to police. Most of those people were rushed to Houston Northwest Medical Center. For now police are telling us, the injuries are minor.

One of the people involved in the crash is being treated at Hermann Memorial East with unknown injuries. Shortly after the crash we did see a charter bus leaving the police academy with the rest of the Chinese dignitaries.

Houston and Shenzhen have had a sister cities relationship since 1989.

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