On today’s date (10-22-19), at approximately 1:20am, officers with the New Braunfels Police Department were in the middle of conducting a traffic stop on the northbound shoulder in the 2600 block of I-35 South (just north of Loop 337/Rueckle Road). Two NBPD patrol vehicles, a Chevrolet Tahoe and a Ford Explorer, were parked behind the vehicle that had been stopped when both patrol units were struck by a white Chevrolet Malibu that was traveling at highway speeds (approximately 70mph). Fortunately, both officers were outside of their vehicles at the time of the collision and no officers were injured in the crash.
The female driver of the Malibu was also uninjured, but she did show signs of intoxication. Standard Field Sobriety Tests were completed and it was determined that the female was intoxicated at the time of the crash. She was then placed into custody, transported to Christus New Braunfels Hospital for a brief medical evaluation, and a blood search warrant was completed. 50-year old Dena Courson Welch of New Braunfels was then taken to the Comal County Jail and charged with Driving While Intoxicated. As of this release, bond had not yet been set and additional charges may be pending.
Both patrol units were totaled in the incident, and although official damages are not yet complete, the estimated value of the two vehicles is in the neighborhood of $100,000.
This incident serves as a reminder of the dangers that officers face daily while on the job. The New Braunfels Police Department would like to remind drivers that drinking and driving is not only against the law, it can be deadly. NBPD considers itself very lucky to not have two injured or deceased officers today. Drivers should also remember that when they see emergency service vehicles (like police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, TXDOT crews, and wreckers) with their lights flashing, they should slow down and change lanes.