Guards, Prisoners Injured in Blazing Crash Between Pickup, Prison Van

Chris Jasurek
By Chris Jasurek
November 6, 2018US News

In what has been described as a scene out of an action movie, a pickup truck roared through a red light and slammed into a van carrying prisoners.

The van carrying the prisoners was heading through Monday morning traffic in downtown Houston on Nov. 5.

As the van was passing Minute Maid Park, (home of the Houston Astros) a dark gray four-door pickup came blasting through a red light and slammed into the right side of the van, KHOU reported.

The van, pushed off course, smashed head-on into a street sign pole and burst into flame. The pickup truck climbed a curb and rolled to a stop a few feet away.

The prison van burns out of control
The prison van burns out of control while the offending pickup sits on the sidewalk nearby, on Nov. 5, 2018. (Screenshot/Harris County Sheriff’s Office via Storyful)

No One Seriously Injured

According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, there were three female and three male prisoners in the van, along with a pair of guards, one driving.

Thanks to the quick actions of the guards, all the prisoners were evacuated with only minor injuries. The guards were also injured, neither seriously. All eight were transported to a local hospital, reported.

The driver of the pickup truck was not injured. He was “in a hurry to get to work, or to a lunch date,” one deputy explained.

The van was completely consumed in the fire. This one is headed to the scrap yard.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office tweeted its gratitude that the incident didn’t turn out much worse, and sent thanks to the Houston Fire Department.

The van after the fire
“Here’s the ’after’ photo of the prisoner transport van and the pickup that collided with it. We’re grateful no lives were lost. Thank you to our colleagues at @HoustonFire,” the Harris County Sheriff’s office tweeted. ((@HCSOTexas)

A Dangerous Job

In the comments section of the Twitter post showing video of the accident and its aftermath, Mister Tov (@MisterTov) posted, “The conspiracy theorist side of me says this was staged to facilitate an escape attempt.”

So far the Sheriff’s Office has not announced an in-depth investigation into this possibility.

A comment by Cassie (@lilmscass) shined a light on part of the process of the Justice system that seems mundane at first glance.

While the Sheriff’s Office didn’t specify, it is likely the inmates were being transferred from the Harris County Jail  to the County Courthouse.

Cassie posted, “Prison inmate transport units are one of the most dangerous posts there is. Prison on wheels where the control is not in the staff’s hands with the outside elements.”

This time, it worked out. The prisoners didn’t escape, and no one was badly injured. Still, this incident shows how much risk our law enforcement officers face at every moment of their working day.

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