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Claims Of Road Rage Between Off-Duty Officer & Man Who Died

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Bill Livezey
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NAVARRO COUNTY (CBS 11 NEWS) – This is not a Merry Christmas for John Livezey and his sister. Nearly two weeks ago their father, 70-year-old Bill Livezey, died in North Texas – far away from their home near Des Moines, Iowa.

The elder Livezey passed away after a roadway incident involving an off-duty police officer from the town of Malakoff, in Henderson County.

“They crossed paths and we have no idea why,” John Livezey said of the incident. “We just want the truth.”

Now, the Texas Rangers are investigating the case.

While Navarro County Sheriffs Deputies responded to the scene, Sheriff Elmer Tanner called in the Rangers because the incident involves a law enforcement officer.

Claudette Powers says she saw what happened between Bill Livezey, who was driving a red pickup truck, and the off-duty police officer who was on his motorcycle. “It was frightening and extremely disturbing,” she said.

The incident occurred 7 a.m. on December 11, along Highway 31 in Kerens near Corsicana.

Powers said, “Immediately as I pulled out, a motorcycle came between myself and that red truck. He began swerving in front of that pickup causing it to go off the right shoulder.”

She says the motorcyclist continued swerving in front of Bill Livezey’s pickup. “I saw several times, two or three times the motorcycle jiggled on his belt area up and down, then that right hand would make a shooting motion to the window of the truck driver. I thought Hells Angels arrived and that it was road rage.”

Powers said she saw Bill Livezey’s face. “It frightened me to see him that frightened.” She says she called 911 several times, and that Livezey pulled over to the side of the road with the off-duty officer following him.

Navarro County Sheriffs Deputies say when they arrived Bill Livezey was in handcuffs and was complaining that he wasn’t feeling well. They called 911, but before the ambulance could arrive they had to perform CPR. Bill Livezey died at a hospital.

Powers said she told her story to authorities and feels sorry for Bill Livezey’s loved ones.  “My heart goes out to this family at Christmas time.”

Back in Iowa, the Livezey family waits for answers. They say Bill Livezey was on his way to Houston to deliver decorative wood to a customer. His daughter, Sandy Hartgers, said her father was harmless. “He wouldn’t hurt anybody.”

Sheriff Tanner and Malakoff’s police chief haven’t publicly identified the motorcycle officer involved in the case. They referred the CBS 11 News telephone calls to the Texas Rangers.

A spokesman with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) said the Rangers aren’t commenting on their investigation yet.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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