"She says that she didn't hear the car coming; no skidding or anything like that," said Captain Terry Allbritton.
But in a matter of minutes, the deputy's squad car had been crumpled by another vehicle. The seven-year veteran had just pulled over Giovanni Rocancio for a broken tail light.
Police say the deputy constable had her lights flashing when she took the initial driver's license and registration back to her patrol car to run the driver's information. Rocancio says the deputy constable had only been in her vehicle for a few minutes when he heard the suspect slam into her and then felt the deputy constable's car crash into his vehicle.
"She was like sitting down at the computer and she couldn't move something and she was complaining about it. She must have broken something. I didn't know what it was," said Rocancio. "My main concern was to make sure she was OK."
Rocancio had to force the Deputy Leigh Nicely's door open to get her out. She was rushed to Memorial Hermann Hospital. So far, doctors believe she may have injuries to her knee and back.
"When I first walked in, they had her sitting up and when we found out about the possible spinal injury they laid her down," said Capt. Allbritton.
HPD believes the driver responsible for the crash the accident was intoxicated -- someone Deputy Constable Nicely is usually seeking out, but not like this.
"It is just kind of ironic -- she is our lead DWI unit that we have right now," said Capt. Allbritton. "She has been recognized in the past by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers for her extensive DWI efforts."
Her colleagues say she is in good spirits and she's already anxious to get back to work. They are looking forward to that but for now they are reflecting.
"If she would have been outside of the car, there is no telling what kind of condition she would be in right now," said Capt. Allbritton.
Deputy Constable Nicely is expected to be in the hospital for a couple of days. They do expect her to return to work.
Meanwhile, the suspect is still in HPD custody. Charges are still pending.Second injury in two days
A Houston police officer injured in a crash yesterday, remains in critical condition this morning. Officer Jason Roy suffered some level of paralysis when his squad car crashed in southeast Houston. He and his partner were chasing a suspect, when their cruiser went into a ditch and rolled multiple times.
We're told Officer Roy will recover, but will have to undergo rehabilitation. He suffered a neck injury. His partner was treated and released from the hospital.