Two Travis County patrol cars hit by suspected drunk drivers

Law enforcement agencies are increasing their staffing to target drunk drivers this week.

Sometimes, finding them is unintentional. In the past week, two suspected drunk drivers have struck Travis County patrol cars.

Travis county deputies say on Saturday, Dan McCammon went through a police barricade at the entrance to the upper deck of IH-35. It was set up to protect officers as they investigated an earlier crash. Deputies say McCammon travelled all the way down the upper deck until striking the emergency vehicles at the end.

"The deputy was standing pretty close to his vehicle when the accident occurred. He heard the brakes, the screeching of the tires and was able to look up and move out of the way before the car hit," said Deputy Roger Wade, Travis County Sheriff's Office.

Roger Wade says deputies are trained to be ready for that.

"The red and blue lights tend to attract DWIs like moths to a flame. The DWIs see the lights and the drivers have a tendency to go toward them," said Wade.

The patrol car was damaged so badly it wasn't drive-able. The impact bent the bumper on the fire truck and knocked out a tail light. Because of the crash firefighters were delayed in responding to another call.

McCammon was booked into the Travis County Jail for DWI.

Four days prior, another Travis County patrol car was struck by a suspected drunk driver. It happened at 620 and Blue Ridge Drive. Wade says 27-year-old Ashley Newland rear-ended the deputy. He was not injured. She was arrested for DWI.

More deputies will be on the clock looking for drunk drivers for New Year's Eve, unless, the drivers find the deputies first.

"We're telling folks if you're out on the road on New Year's Eve, don't drink and drive. Don't even have a drink and drive, have a designated driver or get a cab," said Wade.