SAN ANTONIO – A retired assistant chief with the Converse Police Department was killed Tuesday after the vehicle he was riding in was struck by an erratically driven truck.
San Antonio police said Rodney Rex Rheiner, 58, was the passenger in a Lincoln SUV that was hit around 9 p.m. Tuesday in the 14300 block of Nacogdoches Road. He was transported to Brooke Army Medical Center, where he later died.
Police said the driver of a Toyota Tacoma, identified as 23-year-old Jeanna-Nicole Bernice Coutros, had been driving erratically on Nacogdoches before the crash. She is charged with intoxication manslaughter and evading arrest, according to police.
The Converse Police Department was “saddened” to learn of Rheiner’s death, according to a news release from the agency. Rhenier served the department for 27 years, retiring as assistant chief in March 2017.
Rheiner “could always be found encouraging the officers, pushing them to better themselves and the department through training and education,” according to the news release. He “was known as a strong man of both and family.”
“There would seldom be a time he would speak to you without talking about the accomplishments of his sons or show you a photograph of his grandchildren,” according to the statement.
Shortly before the crash, an SAPD officer attempted to stop Coutros, but as the officer was about to get out of his car, she took off in the pickup.
The officer followed the Tacoma, but when the truck sped up and passed vehicles in the center turn lane, the officer turned off his emergency lights and notified dispatch, police said.
The Tacoma continued driving at a high rate of speed on Nacogdoches, police said. The Tacoma swerved to avoid hitting a vehicle, drove into oncoming traffic lanes and hit the Lincoln SUV in the center lane as it was taking a left turn, police said.
Coutros’ bail was set at $135,000, records show.