AMARILLO, Texas — A 35-year-old man who police say hit the patrol car of an Amarillo Police Department Officer on Sept. 8, 2015 was charged in the officer’s death after he turned himself in Thursday.
Brian David Moody turned himself in to authorities Thursday evening and has been charged with intoxication assault on a peace officer, firefighter or emergency services personnel.
He is also charged with a second count of aggravated assault with serious bodily injury.
Police said Moody surrendered at the Randall County jail about 5:45 p.m. Thursday and he was released later that night on a $25,000 surety bond.
Officer Justin Scherlen was still undergoing therapy for his injuries when he died on August 4, 2016 in Taos, New Mexico, where he was vacationing with his family.
Scherlen was on duty in a marked patrol car heading west on Southwest 34th Avenue from South Georgia Street when his police car was struck by a dark-colored Jeep driven by Moody, who was heading east on 34th, at about 6:43 a.m. on Sept. 8, 2015.
Information gathered at the scene said Moody was driving without headlights during a time of day when they would have been required, and that he crossed the center turn lane and crashed head-on into Scherlen’s marked car.
Police said the collision caused extensive damage to both vehicles, but specifically to Scherlen’s car on the driver’s side and front.
APD said the officer remained trapped in the police car for nearly an hour after the crash before he was safely cut out and finally released from the wreckage at 7:38 a.m.
Scherlen reportedly faced multiple surgeries and months of physical therapy to heal from a broken femur, kneecap and shattered pelvis.
Scherlen was in his 12th year of service at APD at the time of the crash, but he never returned to the force after the accident, living the rest of his life confined to a wheelchair.