Rowlett Squad Cars Struck Twice in 2 Weeks on Interstate 30

Rowlett police describe a stretch of Interstate 30 over Lake Ray Hubbard as a "death trap."

In the past two weeks, two Rowlett police cruisers have been crushed by drivers suspected of driving under the influence.

The cruisers were stopped on the I-30 bridge while police investigated unrelated crashes.

Rowlett police posted a photo on Facebook of the first cruiser that was struck on Feb. 8. Police said the squad car was plowed into at highway speeds as the officer was blocking traffic on I-30.

It happened again on Feb. 21 in almost the same spot.

Police said a driver swerved into an area that had been blocked off by a Rowlett fire engine. The vehicle struck a Rowlett police SUV which then crashed into a second fire engine. Police released dash camera video of the crash.

Drivers in both incidents are charged with driving under the influence.

No officers or fire personnel were injured.

"We're fortunate we didn't have an officer killed out there," said Rowlett Police Sgt. Dean Poos.

Friday, Poos said the department made a decision.

He said scene commanders working crashes now have the option to shut down the entire freeway for their own safety, regardless of how serious the crash.

"That's something that's not taken lightly. When you shut down an interstate, you obviously cause a lot of backup and a lot of problems," Poos said.

But with so many lives on the line, he said convenience takes a backseat to safety.

"Their inconvenience is not worth our lives and that may sound trite and everything, but that's a fact," he said.

Poos said narrow emergency lanes, a 65 mph speed limit, alcohol and inattention put officers at risk on the bridge. He reminded drivers to slow down and move over for first responders, like state law requires.

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