Bastrop asst. fire chief struck, police sergeant dragged by DWI suspect’s vehicle, city says

BASTROP, Texas – A Bastrop assistant fire chief was struck and a police sergeant was dragged by a DWI suspect’s vehicle during a crash investigation Thursday night, city officials said.

City officials announced the incident on social media Friday, saying the pair was called to a car crash investigation in the 600 block of West State Highway 71.

According to officials, Sergeant Charles Sanford and Assistant Fire Chief Eric DeArmitt were investigating the crash when a man, identified as Kenneth Crawford, 53, abruptly entered the crash scene in his vehicle.

Investigators said that as Sanford and DeArmitt tried to take control of the situation, Crawford reversed his 2020 Jeep Cherokee Latitude, hitting an emergency vehicle in the process.

“He then pulled forward and struck Assistant Fire Chief DeArmitt, continuing to travel approximately 50 yards as Sergeant Sanford struggled to take control of the vehicle through the driver’s side window and detain Crawford,” city officials said.

Sanford was evaluated and released from Ascension Seton Bastrop Hospital with a minor injury, while DeArmitt was released with a serious bodily injury that will require ongoing care, according to officials.

Crawford was charged with intoxication assault, a second-degree felony, and additional charges are still pending.

City Manager Paul Hofmann called the two men heroes and said he is proud of all first responders for their tenacity.

“Our City of Bastrop first responders routinely and bravely put themselves in precarious situations day in and day out,” Hofmann said. “These men were injured while trying to stop a drunk driver from doing harm to others – both are selfless heroes. The City is beyond thankful this wasn’t worse.”

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