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Drunk driver who hit officer takes plea deal

Posted at 2:45 PM, Nov 08, 2018

The drunk driver who hit a police officer directing traffic will have to get used to spending the holidays in jail.

This morning, 25-year old Orelvis Lopez pleaded guilty to intoxication assault causing serious bodily injury to a police officer.

In exchange for his plea, he was ordered to 180 days in jail. Judge David Stith ordered him to serve those days on Dec. 23, which is the anniversary of the crash through Jan. 2.

He must also pay Officer Thomas Zirkle $2,000 in restitution.

Corpus Christi Police Officer Thomas Zirkle has experienced extreme pain in his ankle since the December 2017 crash.

On Dec. 23, Zirkle was directing traffic away from an accident on South Padre Island Drive near Old Brownsville Road when Lopez’s vehicle struck him. Prosecutors say Lopez was driving close to 91 miles per hour. The speed limit in the area was 65 miles per hour.

Several officers with the Corpus Christi Police Department were in court to support Officer Thomas Zirkle.