Trooper not cited for 'unsafe' turn in wreck injuring family of 3
Tue, 26 Mar 2013 03:57:14 GMT —
Orlando Vasquez walks with a limp.
Catarina Sanchez can't move without the help of a walker.
Their 3-year-old named Kyle still has nightmares.
Life will never be the same for this Harlingen family after a car accident last month with a DPS Trooper.
"We can't take the child to the park or run around with them," Orlando said. "Taking the dog for a run isn't possible."
The two vehicles were traveling North along FM 800 near Holowell Way in Cameron County on the evening of February 22nd.
Orlando says the trooper in front of him suddenly pulled onto the shoulder to make what he calls an illegal u-turn with no emergency lights on.
He collided with the driver's side of the trooper's door.
The accident report states the trooper made an "unsafe" turn.
No reason for that turn was listed or any other contributing factors highlighted on the reports obtained by Action 4 News through an open records request.
Despite the accident summary pointing to the trooper in question at fault, he was not cited, according to Tom Vinger, a Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson out of Austin.
That infuriates Orlando.
"If it was anybody else, we'd get a ticket," he said. "We'd get a citation or they'd probably arrest us."
The family did have insurance.
But it's limited in coverage.
Orlando still doesn't have a car because he says the state has yet to release the proper paperwork.
Without one, he can't work or finish school for his degree in aviation maintenance.
"They always tell you that you've got to give the others the right away," Orlando says. "You can't just turn out on the street and rush in. You've got to give the other cars the right away. And once it's safe you can turn and do what you got to do. But he didn't do any of those."
It's a round-about way of him saying the laws aren't the same for everyone.
The trooper involved in last month TMs wreck was also taken to the hospital.
The extent of his injuries, if any, remain unclear.
Vinger says cases like these are typically handled administratively.
Orlando has hired an attorney.
His vehicle continues to accrue fees at the impound lot.
The total amount stands at $700 and rising, according to him.