HPD officer burned in fiery crash recovering after fourth surgery

A Houston police officer will be in the hospital for the next few months after being severely burned in a drunken driving crash on Dec. 23.

Officer John Daily, 25, had his fourth surgery on Friday, said Houston Police Officers’ Union President Joe Gamaldi.

“It is a very long road ahead,” he said.

Daily was driving his police SUV to a scene when another car crashed into him, causing the SUV to hit a utility pole, flip several times and burst into flames. The officer, who started with the department about a year ago, has burns on 50 percent of his body, Chief Art Acevedo said at a press conference.

A second officer in the car, 25-year-old Alonzo Reid, sustained less severe burns than Daily. He and a civilian helped Daily out of the car, police said.

Reid is now recovering at home, Gamaldi said.

The man behind the wheel of the car that allegedly caused the wreck is in jail in lieu of $250,000 bond. Cesar Collazo, 23, has been charged with two counts each of intoxicated assault of a peace officer and failure to stop and render aid after causing serious bodily injury.

Prosecutors said Collazo caused the wreck while intoxicated in 10100 block of Telephone Road, about a block from his apartment. He was picked up by police walking away from the crash, about 12 minutes after the collision.

He apparently told police he drank eight beers. He had a blood alcohol level of .157, almost twice the legal limit of .08, prosecutors said.

The police officer’s union is holding a blood drive at 1600 State St. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 3. Donors can schedule an appointment at www.giveblood.org by clicking on “Donor Log In,” creating an account and entering the code 3886PD06.

Monetary donations can also be made at Assisttheofficer.com

Original Article

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