Houston police officer, charged, sued in fatal drunk driving crash

Houston Police Officer James Combs.

Houston Police Officer James Combs.

A wrongful death lawsuit was filed last week against Houston Police Officer James Combs, who was allegedly driving while intoxicated on Aug. 12 when his car struck and killed a single father near Richmond.

Houston attorney Randy Sorrels is representing the parents of Brian Manring, 36, the father of an 8-year old daughter, who was killed by the off-duty police officer in the accident. The wrongful death lawsuit was filed last week against Combs, 33, the driver of the vehicle who hit Manring, and Show Palace, the strip club where Combs had allegedly been drinking prior to the fatal crash.

In the early morning of Aug. 12, Combs was driving home from Show Palace when he swerved into the oncoming lane, slamming his Chevrolet Tahoe head-on into Manring’s Corvette near the intersection of Beechnut and Westmoor. Manring was pronounced dead at the scene.

Responding Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office deputies detected the presence of alcohol on Combs’ breath and requested he complete a field sobriety test. He refused to attempt the sobriety tests so a warrant was obtained and Combs was transported to Memorial-Hermann – Katy Hospital for a blood draw.

The sheriff’s office received the blood test results Aug. 23, which showed Combs had a blood alcohol content of .17 when the test was applied at the hospital. Combs was charged with intoxication manslaughter. He has a $100,000 bond and is being held in the Fort Bend County Jail.

“While the family is extraordinarily distraught and still grieving, they understand drunk driving deaths occur far too frequently in our community,” Sorrels said. “We intend to hold all of those responsible for Brian Manring’s death accountable, and hope this action helps prevent future drunk driving tragedies.”

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