On Thursday morning, as much of Dallas was commuting to work, a family squabble broke out in the alley behind the 1800 block of Angelina Drive in West Dallas. It's not clear from police descriptions what sparked the fight nor, a police spokesman said, did responding officers note the family connection between Debra Brackens, 55, and Sandra Brackens, 40. Sisters, perhaps. Maybe sisters-in-law.
What is clear, according to police, is that at 8:40 a.m., Debra Brackens unsuccessfully tried to run down her family member in her silver 2009 Kia sedan. The cops, who'd been dispatched 20 minutes earlier, witnessed this and moved in to make an arrest. As they were pulling her from the car, however, Brackens broke free from an arm hold, hopped back in her car, and gunned it. Officers hopped in their squad car and gave chase.
Brackens sped out of the alley and wound through the neighborhood until she reached Canada Drive, at which point she headed due west.
Despite the hour, traffic must have been light. Canada Drive hugs the foot of the Trinity River levee, used almost exclusively by people who live in the neighborhood. Hampton Road might have otherwise presented a danger, but Brackens crossed that via an underpass.
The cops' odometer clicked away as Brackens turned south into a neighborhood. One mile. Two miles. Two-and-a-quarter. Suddenly, Brackens' car began to slow, then came to a stop.
Bracken had given up, but not quite willingly. After referring to the cops getting her out of the car as "motherfuckers," she told them she'd only stopped because she'd run out of gas.
Now, let's pause to consider this for a moment. Here (roughly) is the chase route:
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Google Maps tells us that it's something like 2.8 miles. Assuming a 2009 Kia sedan gets 28 miles per gallon in the city, which is roughly the efficiency of my wife's 2010 model, that means she had one-tenth of a gallon of gas. The fuel gauge would have been below empty. The little fuel pump symbol would have been flashing red alert. And yet Brackens allegedly hops in her car and decides to run from police.