Lawsuit accuses EMS of treating officer first, neglecting others in crash

Austin

Jason Roche says his life changed overnight when he was driving through a south Austin intersection and heard sirens — and then slammed into an Austin police cruiser. 

Two years later, he’s now suing the city and Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services for neglecting to treat him because he says they were focused on treating the officer who was involved.

The crash happened on April 22, 2016 at the intersection of Brodie Lane and West William Cannon Drive. 

According to a Texas Department of Transportation crash report obtained by KXAN, the officer was driving with lights and sirens and responding to a call about a man threatening people with knives in a parking lot.

An Austin Police Department memo written about a week after the crash says the officer was driving on William Cannon when he approached the Brodie Lane intersection.

He had a red light and cars were stopped for the light in all 5 lanes. The officer cut across the median and went the wrong way and entered the intersection. That’s when Roche hit the cruiser. 

Roche says he complained of soreness and later found out he had suffered a concussion.

“I had the worst insomnia, three or four, five days with hardly any sleep,” Roche explained. 

He told KXAN he underwent nine months of physical therapy. He lost his job because he couldn’t work. 

Roche said he remembers complaining of soreness, even though the APD memo says “none of the occupants claimed any injuries.” 

When asked if anyone asked him if he needed help or if he asked for help, he said “No, they didn’t, never talked to me once. I don’t know if I asked for help. Because my adrenaline was pumping real bad. I know I was complaining about my back and my neck. I don’t remember anybody asking me about it.”

The memo found the officer involved in this crash violated APD’s policies when he failed to slow down before entering the intersection.

Roche has a separate lawsuit filed against the officer. His attorney told us that suit is in the appeals process.

The passengers in Roche’s car also filed lawsuits, including against him. Those were settled.

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