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Police chief admits force 'mishandled' investigation into teen truck driver who hit six cyclists

"It has been stated that our agency mishandled the initial investigation of the crash scene. That is true."...

A police chief has admitted his force 'mishandled' the initial investigation into an incident in which a teenage driver ploughed into six cyclists, two of whom needed to be airlifted to hospital. 

The 16-year-old had been 'rolling coal' at the time (as shown in the video above) which is when the driver of a truck modifies their vehicle to enable it to emit thick clouds of black smoke.

The cyclists had been on a training ride for Ironman Texas on old Highway 290 near Waller, around 10km northwest of Houston

> ‘Rolling coal’ is assault, says District Attorney – but still no arrest after Texas teen hits six cyclists

A Special Prosecutor has been appointed to investigate the collision but police in Waller County have yet to make an arrest, provoking outrage among local cyclists. 

Several have even questioned whether the driver of the pick-up truck involved may be related to local law enforcement officials.

> Outrage as teen driver who hit six Texas cyclists as he deliberately blew exhaust fumes at them remains free

After receiving heavy criticism for its handling of the investigation the Waller Police Department's chief has now spoken out and admitted the force made mistakes. 

In a post on Facebook Chief Bill Llewellyn said: "It has been stated that our agency mishandled the initial investigation of the crash scene. That is true.

 "A large part of being professional, is being accountable. The scene was not managed in a manner that is acceptable to me, however; none of the deficiencies that have been identified were due to poor policy or procedure within the department, nor were they influenced by who was involved in the crash or any other personal associations.

"To put it quite simply, they were due to a lack of knowledge on our part and those shortcomings are being dealt with internally and will not be repeated...

"Many of the comments posted on social media accuse police officers, in general, of not being concerned with the welfare of the cyclists.

"Please remember that these men and women have dedicated their entire work lives to protect the safety and welfare of the citizens that they serve.

"Because officers use a sense of humour as a protective measure and because they have to prioritise their mission over sentiment, they are often accused of being insensitive.

"Nothing could be further from the truth and most officers feel a sense of failure when a citizen is injured or victimised within their area of responsibility."

Chief Llewellyn said the case is currently still active and is being handled by the District Attorney of Waller County.

He concluded: "I will state unequivocally that I have never met any of the parties involved in the crash incident and I have not received any influence from any member of city administration regarding this incident.

"Waller Police Department will continue to strive to provide the very best police services that we can to our citizens."

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