AUSTIN (KXAN) — The driver who cut through a funeral procession and struck Austin Police Officer Amir Abdul-Khaliq last week had her misdemeanor charge dismissed Tuesday.
Ana Prado, 51, was originally cited for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle (which is a $269 fine), but according to city records, her citation was dismissed on Sept. 8. While the Class C misdemeanor citation was dismissed, other charges could still be filed. According to court documents, the assistant city attorney wrote: “additional investigation needed. State reserves the right to refile.”
Police say the crash happened on Sept. 1 near the intersection of North Burnet and Ohlen Road, just south of U.S. Highway 183. Officer Abdul-Khaliq, 46, who was assigned to the motorcycle unit, was going northbound on Burnet Road (with his police lights on) when Prado, who was in the center turn lane, turned left in front of the officer. Acevedo says during the procession, there was a gap and the driver thought she could make it.
When Acevedo originally spoke the day after the crash, he said he would push for additional charges against Prado if the officer were to die. Abdul-Khaliq died on Sunday, was buried the following day and a public memorial was held for him exactly one week after he was hit.
While the officer’s father believes the incident was an accident, some believe charges should be filed against the driver, but one Austin attorney doesn’t believe it’s likely.
“I think it’s going to be a very tough call for them to bring tough charges against this driver,” said attorney Brad Bonilla, who does not represent Prado. There’s a possibility prosecutors can look at reckless driving but Bonilla still thinks that is a hard case to prove. “It’s very difficult to prove those because a lot of it has to with a person’s subjective intent, and subjective intent is always difficult to prove.”
In Texas, there are no laws that specifically address funeral processions and how a driver should yield.
For most funeral homes, if a family wants a procession the funeral home makes the arrangements with local law enforcement. KXAN checked with a number of funeral homes around Austin and was told that normally up to three off-duty officers are used for an escort.