Alleged Drunk Driver Hits Police Officer During Traffic Stop - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/16/06

Alleged Drunk Driver Hits Police Officer During Traffic Stop

A Lubbock police officer is now out of the hospital, recovering from numerous injuries after he was struck by an alleged drunk driver during a traffic stop.

Officer Chris Hensley pulled a driver over in the 5600 block of I-27, just before 2:30 Sunday morning. Just as he was opening his door, to get out of the car, another driver slammed into the side of his police car. The driver, 25-year-old Stephen Taff stopped his car and was later arrested for "driving while intoxicated," having an open container and no insurance. Taff was released from Lubbock county jail late Sunday night.

Accidents like these remind us that there are laws to protect emergency personnel as they work on busy streets. NewsChannel 11's Jennifer Vogel explains a new law put in place in 2004.

The law states that when you see an emergency vehicle with flashing lights, you need to merge to the opposite side of the street. If you cannot merge, you need to slow down to 20 miles per hour.

In Sunday's accident. both the driver being pulled over and the driver that hit the officer were allegedly driving drunk. And ironically, DWI's are an area where police are really cracking down.

Sgt. Mike Steen from Lubbock police traffic division says, "we have a state grant looking for intoxicated drivers. If you get behind the wheel and drive drunk, hopefully we will stop you before you kill somebody."

Officer Hensley does have a wife and young children. Sgt. Steen says it's a blessing that officer Hensley was able to survive the accident.

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