Austin Police Association pleads for help with keeping roads clear, putting first responders up in hotels

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Police Association is sharing a gripping story of what can happen when drivers don’t slow down in the snowy and icy conditions Central Texas is currently facing.

An Austin police officer was hit and badly hurt by a driver who lost control on the iced-over interstate late last week.

According to APA president Ken Casaday, the driver was speeding before crashing into the officer, who was parked in front of a flyover, blocking it off for people’s safety.

“She doesn’t even remember the accident, because the officers had to pull her out of the vehicle,” Casaday said. “She sustained a severe laceration that took several staples to close it, a concussion, and also a brain bleed and a possible fractured vertebrae in her back, so she’s very fortunate to be alive.”

Casaday said thankfully, the officer is out of the hospital and recovering at home, now.

Photos of the officer’s police cruiser show the back of it was smashed in.

Casaday said it’s a reminder of why people are being asked to drive as little as possible until road conditions have improved.

“We’d encourage people to stay home,” he said. “But, if they have to drive, to drive a very slow speed, because this never should have happened.”

Meanwhile, the police association is asking the public to donate money to its nonprofit, Austin Cops for Charities, to help put up first responders who live outside of Austin and need a place to stay in town until road conditions get better, that way they can still work their shifts and be dispatched across the city.

Casaday said currently, officers and paramedics are sleeping on the floor or on cots in their substations, in their cars or renting hotels with their own money in order to work their shifts.

The hope is to raise money to be able to reimburse them for hotel stays.

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