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Bastrop emergency officials hit while investigating vehicle crash

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The City of Bastrop assistant fire chief was struck, and a police sergeant was dragged, by a drunk driver while investigating a motor vehicle crash on Highway 71.

On April 1 at about 6 p.m., the City of Bastrop Police Department and Fire Department were dispatched to a motor vehicle crash at the 600 block of West State Highway 71 within the Bastrop city limits. 

Patrol Sergeant Charles Sanford and Assistant Fire Chief Eric DeArmitt were investigating the crash when a motorist identified as Kenneth Crawford, 53 years old of Bastrop County, abruptly entered the crash scene. As Sergeant Sanford and Assistant Chief DeArmitt attempted to take control of the situation, Crawford reversed his 2020 Jeep Cherokee Latitude, hitting an emergency vehicle. He then pulled forward and struck Assistant Fire Chief DeArmitt, continuing to travel approximately 50 yards as Sergeant Sandford struggled to take control of the vehicle through the driver’s side window and detain Crawford. Sergeant Sanford was evaluated and released from Seton Bastrop with a minor injury, while Assistant Fire Chief DeArmitt was released with serious bodily injury which will require ongoing care. Crawford has been charged with intoxication assault causing serious bodily injury of emergency service personnel, felony II, and more charges are pending. Crawford was remanded to the Bastrop County Jail after he was medically cleared from Seton Bastrop. 

Sergeant Sanford has been with the City of Bastrop Police Department since 2014 and was promoted to Patrol Sergeant in January of 2021. In May of 2020, Sanford was awarded a Guardian Angel Award from the 100 Club of Central Texas for his work mentoring our youth during the City of Bastrop Police Department’s Junior Police Academy. 

Assistant Chief DeArmitt joined the City of Bastrop Fire Department in October 2019, and in February of this year earned a Life Safety Award in recognition of saving a man in medical distress at a business in downtown Bastrop. 

Of the incident, City Manager Paul Hofmann stated, “Our City of Bastrop first responders routinely and bravely put themselves in precarious situations day in and day out. These men were injured while trying to stop a drunk driver from doing harm to others—both are selfless heroes. The City is beyond thankful this wasn’t worse.”