Police officer in Texas killed in fiery Crown Victoria crash

Police officer in Texas killed in fiery Crown Victoria crash
PBA, 2004-10-06

A Prairie View, Texas police officer was recently killed when a pickup truck slammed into the back of the officer’s Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, causing the patrol car to burst into flames. Officer Jerome Sobieski was killed on September 26.

To read a story about the incident, refer to the text below from a report by television station KHOU Channel 11 in Houston, Texas.

Prairie View officer killed in fiery crash

From 11 News Staff Reports

The fiery death of a Prairie View police officer has put the spotlight back on America’s most popular police car.

Approximately 75 percent of the nation’s officers drive a Ford Crown Victoria, a car critics claim explodes too easily when hit from behind.

That’s exactly what happened Sunday morning to Prairie View officer Jerome Sobieski.

He was sitting on the shoulder of Highway 290 when a pickup slammed into the back of his 1999 Crown Victoria.

The officer was killed instantly.

The driver of the pickup was not hurt. Police said he could face charges if tests come back showing he’d been drinking.

Many officers have died in fiery Crown Victoria crashes.

While Ford insists their car is safe, some departments, including Dallas, have stopped buying them for their officers.

Here’s the problem. In most cars the fuel tank is located in front of the rear tires. But on the Crown Victorias in question, the fuel tank is behind the rear tires.

A hexagonal bolt attached to the rear axle has been blamed for puncturing the gas tank during crashes.

Ford has offered to modify 350,000 police cars at no charge, but the chief of Prairie View’s police department said he wasn’t aware of that.