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PITTSBURGH — A Pittsburgh Police officer has been put on administrative leave without pay following an off-duty car accident that left a Channel 11 employee severely injured earlier this month.
“These are all actions that are very concerning,” said Phil DiLucente, attorney representing the victim.
Police have charged officer Tariq Jamal-Francis with DUI, reckless driving and child endangerment after he allegedly got behind the wheel of his car drunk with his 17-year-old son riding in the passenger seat before crashing into the Channel 11 employee.
“She has a concussion with a loss of consciousness so that’s a whole different level of concussion. She has seen a neuropsychologist. She is experiencing tingling. It’s not just neck pain, but it’s radiating down her arm,” said Ken Nolan, attorney for the victim.
This officer said he should not have been driving and his son should have gotten a ride to practice, according to police paperwork.
The incident happened on Nov. 12th roughly a mile from Jamal-Francis home, along New Texas Road in Plum Borough.
According to police, Jamal-Francis rear ended the Channel 11 staffer and took off.
He then proceeded to back up and drive onto the wrong side of the road hitting an embankment.
Police say he kept going ultimately turning onto Saltsburg Road.
That’s where he finally pulled over at Boyce Park Drive and called police to report the incident.
“We are certainly surprised and shocked that an officer was involved not because of the criminality potentially of the matter but because he didn’t actually stop at the scene,” said DiLucente.
Police say Jamal-Francis admitted to consuming alcohol but refused a field sobriety test.
He agreed to a DUI blood draw at Forbes Hospital where police say he smelled of alcohol.
“It would appear that it has a lack of remorse, a lack of responsibility,” said DiLucente.
The crash was so severe his car had to be towed from the area.
The victim’s car was heavily damaged as well.
Channel 11 reached out to Jamal-Francis by phone and in person, but we have not heard back in time for this report.
“When you are drinking and driving you are not only a danger to yourself, (you are) a danger to the person who you come into contact with – in this case our client -and any person in your vehicle,” said DiLucente.
Jamal-Francis is not in police custody.
He will be charged via summons.
The Channel 11 staffer reports she will continue to undergo treatment and therapy for her ongoing injuries and trauma.
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