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(via khou.com)

HOUSTON – An early-morning crash killed a Houston doctor and left a rookie police officer with a broken neck Monday.

Dr. Estela Medrano, who had worked at the Baylor College of Medicine since 1995, was riding in a car with her husband when they were hit by the officer.

It happened around 12:45 a.m. in the 7600 block of South Braeswood, as the Medranos were returning from a trip to London.

Police said the Medranos were making a left turn into their apartment complex when Officer K.D. Dozier, who was speeding to a Code Two call, T-boned their car.

The impact pushed the Medranos’ car nearly 40 yards.

“I saw them put their brakes on. They were going to turn into the community. I turned for a quick second and then a heard the boom. And when I looked back I saw that the police car was, um, dragging them a distance,” witness Santiago Soto said.

Investigators said they weren’t sure if either party saw the other before the crash. Dozier was traveling without his emergency lights or siren on, and there were no skid marks indicating braking on the officer’s part at the crash site.

Police said officers are not required to use their lights and sirens for a Code Two call.

When emergency crews reached the Medranos, they were both unconscious. Dr. Jorge Medrano, 71, was rushed to Ben Taub in critical condition, but Dr. Estela Medrano, 67, didn’t make it.

Officer Dozier was transported to Memorial Hermann with a broken neck, a laceration to his forehead and an unknown injury to his arm, police said. He joined HPD in September of 2009 and is assigned to the Fondren Patrol Division.

The Baylor College of Medicine released a statement about Dr. Estela Medrano Monday afternoon.

They said she was a professor at the Huffington Center on Aging and also worked with the departments of molecular and cellular biology, dermatology and the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center.

She was a nationally recognized leader in aging and cancer research.

“Dr. [Estela] Medrano was an important member of the Huffington Center and a wonderful colleague. She was a talented researcher and highly respected by her colleagues at Baylor and throughout the country. She will be greatly missed,” Dr. Hui Zheng, director of the Huffington Center on Aging, said.

Police have yet to say who was at fault in the crash, and the investigation was ongoing Monday afternoon.

As news of the crash spread, neighbors expressed shock and grief.

“I was shocked. I was shocked. Especially after learning that they just came from vacation,” neighbor Ernie Abadejos said.

“She was very full of life. She really, really was,” neighbor Leda Hinton said.

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