District Attorney explains sentence for driver in wreck which injured officer

Tarcisio Chan-Ramirez mug shot courtesy of Nacogdoches County Jail.
Tarcisio Chan-Ramirez mug shot courtesy of Nacogdoches County Jail.

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The original charges filed against a Mexican national involved in a car crash with a Nacogdoches Police officer were "unfounded."

Nacogdoches County District Attorney Nicole LoStracco says that's why she opted for probation for 31-year-old Tarcisio Chan-Ramirez.

Toxicology reports show Chan-Ramirez had not been drinking, as originally indicted. Nor was he traveling at 90 miles-per-hour as originally cited.

Chan-Ramirez was arrested after he was involved in an accident on South Street with Nacogdoches Police Officer Keith Hawkins. As a result of the wreck on September 26, 2011 wreck, Hawkins suffered serious facial and pelvic injuries.

LoStracco says Hawkins' patrol car was driving just over 70 miles-per-hour, while Chan-Ramirez' car was making a turn at about 25 miles-per-hour.

The district attorney's office agreed to drop a charge of aggravated assault against a public servant.

"To prove aggravated assault you have to prove that the actions of the defendant caused the serious bodily injury to the officer," said LoStracco. "The analysis of the car computers came back showing that the officer was not wearing a seat belt. So then the question becomes, 'Were the injuries caused by the lack of the officer wearing a seatbelt or were they caused by anything that the defendant may have done?' We've already determined the defendant didn't necessarily do anything criminally wrong. It was just a horrible crash."

At the time of the accident investigating Trooper John Henley said witnesses saw Chan-Ramirez driving northbound at speeds of 90 miles per hour and even ran a red light before crashing into Hawkins.

Henley said Chan-Ramirez tried to run away, but witnesses of the crash tackled him and held him down until law enforcement officers arrived.

Hawkins is still recuperating from the injuries.

Police spokesman Sgt. Greg Sowell said Hawkins is working with the police department again, but on light duty.

"We hope to have him back on full duty one day," Sowell said. "He's still in therapy and healing."

Chan-Ramirez received five years probation for failure to stop and render aid. He remains in the Nacogoches County jail for deportation.

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