HPD officer injured, woman in custody being transported dies in wreck

October 2, 2013 4:23:20 PM PDT
An officer was hurt and a person in custody who was being transported to a sober center died in a car crash in downtown Houston Wednesday morning.

This happened on Chartres and Texas Avenue around 3:30am, right under the elevated portion of the Eastex Freeway.

It's a bizarre twist of fate for a 21-year-old woman being taken to the sobriety center in downtown to sober up. Investigators say Caroline Nicolai was killed after another 21-year-old driver of a red Chevy Cobalt slammed straight into the police car she was riding in.

"As a result of the accident, the prisoner was ejected from the police vehicle," said Sgt. Ignacio Izaguirre with the Houston Police Department. "She was transported to Ben Taub where she was a short time later pronounced dead."

The officer involved was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Police say the driver of the Cobalt, Nicole Moser, admitted to just leaving a bar. She was taken to a nearby hospital with head injuries. Her passenger was also taken with minor injuries after the wreck.

"The female driver of the Cobalt, she admitted to drinking alcoholic beverages. She pretty much did not know what had happened," Sgt. Izaguirre said. "She stated to one of our officers here that she should not have been driving. She should not have been driving."

Police say Nicolai, who was riding in the back of the patrol car, was either ejected out of the back window or side passenger door window. Police confirmed she was handcuffed and not properly restrained at the time of the accident.

Nicolai's fiance says he's upset with the drunk driver and police right now.

"I want to know what the officer was thinking and why she didn't restrain her properly, knowing that it's 3am and there's people driving around drunk. And I want to know what they are going to do about that, because I'm sorry, the 'Oh, you messed up; don't do it again,' is not acceptable in my book."

Police say the injured officer is very traumatized over this fatal crash.

Internal affairs is investigating the incident right now.

Meanwhile, Moser is charged with intoxication manslaughter.

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