FORT WORTH -- A Fort Worth police officer is facing a manslaughter charge for a crash that occurred while he was speeding to a call.
Chris Bolling, 30, surrendered at lunchtime Friday and was freed on $7,500 bond.
Bolling's attorney and the head of the Fort Worth Police Officers Association say the indictment shocks them.
"[It was] Just a horrible accident -- everybody knows that,” said attorney Jim Lane. “Officer Bolling is very remorseful for this family. Just a tragedy. But I don't think it's a crime."
Sergeant Rick Van Houten, president of the police officers association, expressed similar thoughts, saying, "This is in no way, in my opinion, a criminal case."
The crash occurred two summers ago on Azle Avenue.
Bolling, a four-year officer, was racing to intercept a possible drunk driver who had nearly caused a head-on collision. While on his way to assist an off-duty cop who was pursuing the driver, Bolling crested a blind hill.
It was too late when he saw 77-year-old Billie Joe Addington in his Toyota Camry turning left into a senior living complex. Bolling struck the rear passenger side of Addington's car.
Lane concedes Bolling was driving 86 mph in a 45 mph zone without lights and siren, but said the officer braked to 47 mph before hitting the rear of Addington's car.
That, along with other details, should not have warranted an indictment, Lane said.
"[It is a] Very confusing set of facts. I think four reports found Officer Bolling not at fault. Then the accident review board found him not at fault,” Lane said. "His wife's brother was killed by a DWI."
Lane also said Bolling, a Navy veteran, volunteered on his day off for a DWI detail.
Addington died more than two months after the collision. The medical examiner cited multiple crash-related injuries.
Lane said he’ll challenge that finding.
"It's our opinion the death was not caused by the accident," he said Friday night.
The Fort Worth Police Department took Bolling's badge and gun, and placed him on restricted duty. Van Houten said he hopes officer Bolling isn’t fired before his day in court.
“If the chief terminates the officer, it will send a strong message to other officers: When they use discretion, they won’t be supported,” Van Houten said. “This was an officer trying to do his job."
The city of Fort Worth settled a civil suit with Billie Joe Addington’s family for $250,000. That's the maximum allowed in such cases.
WFAA was unable to reach the Addington family for comment on the indictment.