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Ovilla officer involved in accident in Glenn Heights

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The Ellis County Press
Glenn Heights - Ovilla Police Officer Vonda Essary, (eight months with Ovilla) received a phone call while on duty of a family emergency involving her daughter.

According to reports, she had requested permission from the department to take care of the emergency and was enroute to her residence, traveling northbound on Hampton Road in Glenn Heights when the squad car she was driving collided with a vehicle turning left in front of her on Milas Street.

Driving the vehicle hit by the squad car was 20-year-old Ashley Houston and seated next to her was passenger Dotonian Sherman, 22.

Both occupants were wearing seat belts and the air bags deployed properly resulting in little injury to either one of them. In the rear seat, confined to a child safety seat, was Houston's nine-month-old baby boy, Cortlen Jefferson.

The impact caused the squad car to roll over several times, coming to rest against a tree approximately 240 feet from the original impact location.

Essary was not wearing a seat belt, according to police, and was ejected from the squad car and was found about 30 feet further north.

The complete rear of the other vehicle behind the passenger side door was torn away from the impact, leaving a gaping hole and the baby was also ejected from the vehicle.

Care-Flight Units were called and the boy was transported to Childrens Medical Hospital.

The driver and passenger refused treatment and went to the hospital with the child.

The officer was Care-Flited to Baylor Hospital Emergency Center.

The officer was treated and released around 3 a.m. with cuts and bruises and stitches over her eye.

Nine-month-old Cortlen was pronounced dead at Children's Medical Hospital at approximately 8:27 p.m.

The accident took place around 7:10 p.m, with Officer DelGado of Glenn Heights Police Department arriving at the scene first and Lt. Perry, also of the Glenn Heights PD, arriving and taking charge of the accident scene.

After determining the accident was a potential crime scene, at approximately 7:45 p.m., Perry called in the Dallas County Accident Review team.

Dallas County Sheriff's Accident Review arrived at 8:30 p.m., at which time the investigation of the accident was turned over to them.

Accident investigators were still trying to determine if speed was a major factor in the accident, however, an eyewitness sitting at a stop sign several blocks south of the accident scene said when the officer went by, it was just a blur.

As it was not an official Ovilla Police Department emergency, Essary was not running with her emergency lights on.

Officers would not have the final report finished until early next week.

Any case involving a fatality would be referred to the Grand Jury and this case would be no different, according Public Relations Officer Paul Reyna, of the Dallas County Sheriff's Department.

He said once the department had its findings the case would be referred to the Grand Jury to see if any charges would be filed.

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