APD searching for hit and run driver who struck on-duty officer

Austin police are searching for a driver who struck a police officer in Del Valle Saturday night.

The officer was working a car crash when they were hit and treated on scene. APD said the officer suffered non-life threatening injuries but the person who assaulted him is still on the loose.

Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody said incidents like these are a common occurrence. 

His office experienced a close call with a vehicle who slammed into his deputy’s unit during a winter storm. “Till you experience that vehicle moving past you in the wind you know on the back of your neck and then realizing that your inches away from being head that makes you start to pay attention to those things that are behind you versus what is in front of you so it’s an officer safety perspective at all levels for law-enforcement.” Sheriff Chody said. “We want to remind everyone especially after the tragic events and things could’ve been worse but I don’t know the total results of what’s going on with that officer but I think God that things seem to be OK.”

In November 2017, Senior Trooper Thomas Nipper,63, died while conducting a traffic stop in temple. Nipper was in his patrol car struck when he was hit from behind.

Sheriff Chody said the “move over law” exists to protect law enforcement, first responders and roadside assistance. The law requires motorists to move out of the lane closest to the emergency vehicle when possible, or reduce their speed to 20 miles per hour below the posted limit.

The driver must slow down if the road does not offer multiple lanes.

Sheriff Chody’s office enforced a three-day initiative back in May that resulted in 240 move over citations and is considering launching another initiative to help make the road a safer place.

Police have released the suspect description of the vehicle involved in the hit and run.

It is described as a black or dark colored sedan, possibly a Nissan.