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Richard W. Stapp

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An excerpt from one news story and a very important letter from Vance Riley, a fire chief and friend of Richard Stapp:

Grief, anger grip family in wake of tragic crash 05/30/99
Grief, anger grip family in wake of tragic crash By ELIZABETH LANGTON Avalanche-Journal Richard Stapp treasured his family. His death in a car crash two weeks ago has shattered them. Stapp, his wife and daughter were visiting Lubbock for a happy occasion (R)ĀĎ
Letter to the Editor

Memories of Stapp

June 2, 1999 -- Re: The front-page article, "High-speed chase ends with fatality" (A-J, 5-18).

I am stunned to learn of Richard Stapp's horrible death and his family's serious injuries. Richard was my elementary PE coach while he was a member of the Volunteer Fire Department. He gave me a summer job.

Together we ran fire and ambulance calls. He influenced my career choice. He was always friendly, good-natured, and a kidder.

As a certified peace officer, paramedic and firefighter, I have many questions. When is it OK to pursue a drunk at high speed? Would he have hit someone else? Did Richard get BLS in less than five minutes and ALS in less than nine minutes?

He saved many lives and deserved the best in return. After seeing thousands of accidents, why do I always see the drunk walk away uninjured while the innocent die?

For the pursuing officer: Take every advantage of critical incident stress debriefing. You will need it. Do it for yourself and for your family.

For Lubbock: Please support your police department during trying times. Help them with constructive criticism and supportive comments. Always seek a better way for next time. If true professionals, they are already working on this!

For Texans: Stop the carnage of drunken driving! The only way is permanent lifetime revocation of driver's license upon first conviction! Time outs don't work!

For Richard: Thank you for your kind smiles. I am a better man for having known you and served beside you.

Victoria Fire Department
Victoria, Texas


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