Did grocery store play role in fiery crash involving police?

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Cesar Collazo allegedly told investigators he was drunk and buying beer right before the crash that injured two Houston police officers.

A suspected drunk driver who was charged after police say he caused a fiery crash involving two HPD officers is expected to appear in court overnight.

The suspect, 23-year-old Cesar Collazo, told police he was drunk and buying beer before the accident on Sunday night.

If that's the case, prosecutors said more people could find themselves in court.

PHOTO: 23-year-old suspect Cesar Collazo



Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo is calling the aftermath of the wreck, however violent, a Christmas miracle because both officers are expected to survive.

Prosecutors who saw the crash scene as well say by the grace of God both officers were able to live.

"I was on the scene, and it's jaw-dropping what that police unit looked like," said Sean Teare, with the Harris County District Attorney's vehicular crimes division.

After leaving the scene, prosecutors started to figure out how this crash happened.

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Collazo told investigators he had just bought beer at the store down the street from the crash, a place they say he visited a couple of times that day.

"We believe we know where he was purchasing alcohol at least a few times that day, and we have taken investigative steps into that establishment," Teare said.

Two receipts were found on Collazo after the fiery wreck.

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Prosecutors are also pulling surveillance video, and checking with other places that might have sold him alcohol.

"If anyone served this person while he was visibly intoxicated, then that is going to be something that we look into for possible criminal charges," Teare said.

Officer Alonzo Reid was in the patrol unit, but with the help of a bystander, pulled Officer John Daily from the burning vehicle.

Daily suffered burns on half of his body, serious injuries that prosecutors said should serve as a reminder to those who sell alcohol.

"If someone is visibly intoxicated, if someone's a minor, just don't sell to them," Teare said. "That's it, and you can save a life of someone in your own community if you do that."

Collazo faces charges of intoxication assault of a peace officer, and failure to render aid.

If convicted, he faces 60 years behind bars.

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Related Topics:
car crashdrunk drivingHouston
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