04/03/2009

Texas cop dies when squad hit by chase suspect

Associated Press

BRIDGEPORT, Texas — A motorist fleeing police during a high-speed chase slammed into a patrol car Thursday, killing a police officer, authorities said.

Stephen York, 44, of Bridgeport, was charged with capital murder and was being held on $1 million bond, the Wise County Sheriff's Office said. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney.

Sgt. Randy White was pulling over a pickup hauling a flatbed trailer, trying to get it off the road to prevent a potential injury, when the suspect's vehicle slammed into his patrol car from behind, city spokeswoman Amber Fogelman said. The patrol car did not catch fire but was crumpled, and White died at the scene.

York was airlifted to a hospital in nearby Fort Worth; his condition was unavailable Thursday night.

Police Chief Randy Singleton said it appeared from the preliminary investigation that the driver "intentionally rammed into the officer at a high rate of speed."

White, 32, was one of three Bridgeport officers responding to the chase that began in Decatur after a hit-and-run accident, authorities said.

"Sgt. Randy White was a hero. In our thinking, (he) did save the lives of other people by putting himself between the suspect and these citizens," Singleton said.

"This is the first time we've had an officer lose his life in active duty in the city. It's a loss. It's a loss for all of us," Mayor Donald Majka told Dallas-Fort Worth television station KTVT.

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