Off-Duty Officer Charged With DWI In Crash That Killed Texas Truck Driverby Jana Ritter - Published: 6/22/2016
An off-duty police officer has been charged with DWI after causing a fatal chain reaction crash that took the life of a truck driver north of Austin, early Tuesday morning.
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According to authorities, 26-year-old Alan Eduardo Dieguez is a three-year veteran of the El Paso Police Department and was off duty driving his own vehicle while intoxicated on Tuesday morning. A witness told investigators that at about 2:15 am, Dieguez was driving his Hyundai along Interstate Highway 35 at speeds reaching over 100 mph and cutting in and out between vehicles. Dieguez then struck the rear of an 18-wheeler truck and the impact was so severe that the engine of his Hyundai was ejected from his vehicle and scattered debris across three lanes of traffic. The semi-truck driver who got rear-ended, pulled over and walked out on to the road. Authorities believe he was going to check on Dieguez and his brother, who was riding as a passenger in the vehicle. Tragically, a second semitrailer came along and hit the road debris from the first crash, then skidded off the roadway and struck the first truck driver who was still standing on the road. The second semi then rolled onto its left side and skidded into the ditch, then caught fire. The terrible chain of events continued when a third semi-truck came along and also hit debris and then caught fire.
The truck driver that was struck while trying to render aid was killed instantly and was later identified as 56-year-old Dane Keith Rutter of Stockdale, TX. The other two truck drivers were taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries, along with the off duty officer who caused the deadly chain reaction. According to authorities, Dieguez fled the hospital on foot after refusing medical treatment but Round Rock police officers soon apprehended him. Apparently, Dieguez told a Department of Public Safety Trooper at the hospital that he had drunk one or two rum and cokes and was driving from Austin to San Antonio. But after he refused to perform sobriety tests, authorities arrested him for driving while intoxicated. He then later agreed to give a blood sample.
Police took him from the hospital and booked into the Williamson County Jail. So far, it is confirmed that the officer is charged with DWI and unlawful carrying of a weapon. Officials also confirmed he will be placed on administrative leave when he returns to El Paso but it is uncertain as to whether he will face other charges and/or ultimately lose his job.