Body cam shows Ferris officer trying to stop wrong-way driver
WILMER, Texas - FOX 4 News has obtained bodycam footage that shows how a Ferris police officer risked his own life in the moments after a wrong-way crash killed four people.
The officer crossed over the center median shining his flashlight at oncoming cars to help them avoid hitting the cars in the middle of the highway.
The Ferris police officer was in the middle of a large drug stop when he heard the call about the wrong-way driver and then saw her speeding past him going north in the southbound lanes of Interstate 45.
The officer then got into the northbound lanes to try to catch up to her to get her attention.
Ferris Police Officer Charles Banks was in the northbound lanes on interstate 45 trying to catch up with the wrong-way driver going southbound when he saw the fatal head on crash.
In his body cam video, Banks jumped the median and immediately took action to try to stop other drivers from crashing into the wreckage.
"Officer Banks was a model officer," said Ferris City Manager Books Williams. "He put his own life at risk to protect those in the accident, as well as those still on the road."
The wrong-way driver, 33-year-old Francisca Fuentes, crashed into 28-year-old Michael Coyne, a coach and teacher for Palestine Junior High.
Coyne was with two students headed from Dallas back to Palestine after he was gifted tickets to the Maverick's game three. The two teens survived.
Victims in Dallas County wrong-way crash included teacher, 1 and 2-year-old children
Fuentes had a 2-year-old and 1-year-old in her car. Both appeared to be unrestrained and died in the crash.
It was about five minutes from the time Ellis County dispatch notified Ferris police to the time of the crash with Officer Banks calling for assistance during those precious few minutes.
And though he could not prevent the crash, Banks did not hesitate to put himself in harm’s way.
"This is a prime example of what officers do on a daily basis put their lives on the line to attempt to save others," Williams said.