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Tuesday, February 29, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 105

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Officer drives wrong way on freeway 

Off-duty UH police officer collides with eastbound truck on I-10

By Camilla McElligott
News Reporter

An off-duty UH police officer swerved through oncoming traffic heading the wrong way on the Pierce Elevated and the Katy Freeway on Sunday before running into an 18-wheeler.

Late Sunday evening, calls poured into the Houston Police Department from frantic motorists reporting that a gray truck was driving against the flow of traffic on the Pierce Elevated and, a few minutes later, that it was heading west in the Katy Freeway's eastbound lanes.

When HPD Officer Jennifer Evans finally located the truck, which had evaded HPD officers for miles, she told dispatch, "Well, it's not going the wrong way anymore."

UHPD Officer Mary Campodonico, who was driving the small Nissan truck while off-duty, brought an end to her five-mile drive when she hit the truck.

Campodonico hit driver Arthur Hinojos of Sandoval Trucking three exits away from his destination after a long haul from Laredo.

"The only thing I remember is her headlights coming right at me," Hinojos said. "She was swerving through three lanes. I thought someone was going to die."

Skillful driving on Hinojos' part, kept him and Campodonico from being seriously injured in the accident. Hinojos was able to drive his rig away after a tire change.

"I'm glad no one got killed," Hinojos said.

"I saw when I looked in her car was a gun in her open glove box, a nice Glock," Evans said. "So, I asked her if she was a cop once I put her in my patrol car, and she showed me her UHPD identification."

Evans could not explain why a officer familiar with Houston would be swerving down the freeway heading in the wrong direction.

"How can you defend this action?" Evans asked. "She lives in this city. She works in this city. She can't defend this."

On Monday evening, UHPD directed all inquiries concerning this case to HPD's accident division, which said the case was still under investigation.
 

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