Police officer ‘fighting for his life’ after severe burns sustained in the crash with a drunken driver, authorities say

Officer John Daily suffered severe burns in a crash, authorities say. (Houston Police Department)

A Houston police officer who was supposed to spend Christmas with his parents in California this week was instead of “fighting for his life” as he recovers from surgery for serious burns suffered in a crash that was allegedly caused by a drunk driver, according to reports.

Officer John Daily, 25, suffered second and third degree burns to his arms, legs, face, abdomen and chest in the Monday morning crash, the Houston Chronicle.

“They make sure to remove the damaged tissue, so that they will finally be able to graft on them,” Houston police union President Joe Gamaldi told the newspaper. “Officer Daily, and fighting through this recovery.”


The suspect allegedly plowed his vehicle into a patrol SUV that Daily drive was a few hours before he was to fly out for a visit to his family, according to reports.

Daily partner, Officer Alonzo Reid, suffered less serious burns and was released from a hospital on christmas day, reports said.

As of Wednesday, the Daily was heavily sedated and cannot talk, Gamaldi told Houston’s KPRC-TV.

Officers John Daily and Alonzo Reid
(Houston Police Department)

The suspect, Cesar Collazo, was a piece of his home early Monday at his Lincoln Navigator struck the Chevy Tahoe with the officers as they were on their way to help another officer, prosecutors said. Collazo allegedly pulled in front of them while trying to rotate, causing the police vehicle to flip several times and catch on fire.

“You’ve caused severe pain to the families, and I thank the Lord that my son is still alive,” Lisa Malone, Officer Alonzo Reid’s mother, told Houston’s KTRK-TV.


A bystander pulled Reid out of the burning vehicle and they went Everyday after that.

Collazo told the police his brother-in-law was driving the SUV, but eyewitnesses said that he was the only person in the vehicle, the Chronicle.

Both officers are with the Houston Police Department for a little over a year.

“Our director is supposed to fly home to his mother and father in California … but instead of going to see his family, they came here because they got a phone call no one should get,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said during a christmas Eve news briefing. “And that is that their 25-year-old lively son who is just starting his career with the Houston Police Department is here to fight for his life.”

“John is a tough guy, ‘Daily’ s father, Olen Daily, said at the press conference. “He will get through this.”

Cesar Collazo, 23, is charged in connection with a crash that injured two police officers, Houston police say.

The police said Collazo, 23, drove away from the scene and was arrested minutes later. Prosecutors said his blood alcohol level was .157, nearly twice the legal limit.

“Per numerous versions of the events of the night, he had drunk during the day. We have receipts that confirm that a part of his day drinking. We are actively looking to the rest of the revenue,” said Sean Teare, division chief of the Harris County Vehicular Crimes Unit.

Collazo is charged with two counts each of drunkenness, assault of a peace officer and failure to stop and render aid after the cause of grievous bodily injury, that is the official rate for a hit-and – run. He faces up to 20 years in prison, if convicted.

Prosecutors are also investigating the La on-site Meat Market to determine whether Collazo bought beer there the night of the crash.

Collazo told a judge he is a Mexican citizen and is in the United States legally on a work visa. Prosecutors said that the visa Dec. 31.

He is being held in Harris County jail on $ 250,000 bond.

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