Motorcycle officer struck during funeral procession

December 13, 2011 8:50:12 AM PST
Alert, but in a lot of pain -- that's the description of a longtime Pasadena police sergeant who was hit by a car while helping clear traffic for a funeral procession in southwest Houston Monday.

Pasadena Sergeant Matt Novotny is now surrounded by his family and his colleagues in law enforcement. The driver who hit him may have been at fault. She told us she's praying that Sgt. Novotny makes a speedy recovery.

Sgt. Novotny was loaded into a Life Flight helicopter after he was critically injured in the wreck. Police say the motorcade was traveling from St. Benedict Catholic Church on West Fuqua when Sgt. Novotny pulled into the intersection in order to stop traffic when he and was struck by a blue Honda SUV.

"She hit him and knocked him up in the air," said eyewitness Cesar Chopp. "He fell right there in the street and knocked his motorcycle over toward McDonalds."

Police investigating the accident conducted a field sobriety test on the driver, who was visibly shaken, but say they don't believe alcohol was a factor.

Habiba Hanim said, "I cannot believe it."

Hanim told us the light was green, so she thought she had the right of way.

"People cannot stop their car all of a sudden, all of a sudden," she said. "You should put a signal or something or they should put the blink light issuing a stop or something. I don't know. I just don't know."

Novotny, a 32-year veteran of the force, suffered a broken pelvis and we're told he is in critical condition at the hospital. His is wife and son rushed to Memorial Hermann Hospital to be by his side.

Pasadena Police Chief M.W. Thaler said, "We're just looking forward to getting the sergeant taken care of up here and get home, back home with his family as soon as we can."

The Houston Police Department is handling the investigation. The driver was ticketed for failure to yield right of way, and released.


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