Victim of wrong-way accident: 'Please don't drink and drive'

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Victim of wrong-way accident speaks out, Marla Carter reports. (KTRK)

Victor Vigil said he saw his life flash before his eyes as a wrong-way driver crashed into him Tuesday morning at 610 and Bellaire. The wrong-way driver admitted to drinking, police said.

Houston TranStar video shows the 21-year-old wrong-way driver going southbound in the northbound lanes. In the video, you see the driver hit Vigil's car head-on, sending his car spinning across the northbound lanes. Vigil says all he saw was a bright light coming at him.

"When I see the lights over me, it's everything in seconds," Vigil said.

FULL VIDEO OF CAR CRASH:
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Wrong way driver collision.



Minutes before the crash, TranStar video shows Bellaire police officers keeping pace with the wrong-way driver's car, hoping to get him to stop along the freeway. As officers tried to get the driver's attention, Vigil was heading in to work at 4:15am, going 60 miles an hour.

"It's a terrible decision for police officers because in a matter of seconds they have to decide do we get up and do we also drive the wrong-way on the freeway or do we try to parallel them," said Bellaire Police Chief Byron Holloway.

Bellaire Police Chief Byron Holloway says it's often more dangerous for officers to drive into oncoming. Instead they drive parallel in hopes to alert other drivers on the road to pay attention.

Also, Holloway says in many cases, wrong-way drivers are drunk or impaired, so trying to stop and get their attention isn't a good idea.

"Trying to flash your lights, trying to do something to get them to stop is not always effective. A driver needs to take care of themselves and their safety and anybody in their vehicle first and that means getting off the road as fast as they can," said Holloway.

Both Vigil and the wrong-way driver went to the hospital.

Vigil has staples in his knee. He's just grateful that's the worst of his injuries.

"Everything is okay. The bone is not broken and everything is completely good," said Vigil.

Vigil just lost his grandfather Monday. He thinks he was looking down on him Tuesday morning.

After Vigil's frightening experience, he hopes others can learn an important lesson.

"Please don't drink and drive," added Vigil.

Bellaire police said the 21-year-old driver will charged with driving under the influence.
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