Today’s blog will cover an intersectional collision causing serious damage as well as the story which reveals what happens when you chose to drink and drive intoxicated.
A serious collision along the Gulf Freeway injured a mother and child earlier today. According to local authorities, a U.S. Postal Service box truck failed to yield the right of way at the intersection of The Gulf Freeway feeder and Park Place Drive. Emergency personnel responded to the scene and removed the right door with the Jaws-of-Life to pull the victims out. Both victims were transported to local hospital.
In our second story, Brittney Hempel of Kingwood was sentenced to 13 years in prison after pleading guilty to felony intoxicated manslaughter Tuesday afternoon. On June 15, 2014, Hempel caused a three car pile-up after striking several cars from the rear at the intersection of FM 1960 (Humble-Westfield Road) near Farrell Road. The impact claimed the life of Alexia Ardeleanu. Hempel was under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.27%.
There is several fatality stories over the weekend to cover in today’s blog involving auto-pedestrian incidents in Houston, TX.
A woman is dead after being the victim of a hit-and-run in the Cypress area on Saturday evening. According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Department, Joseph Michael Stratton, a 20-year-old from northwest Houston, was travelling northbound on Fry Road in a 2012 Dodge Challenger when he struck the woman near the intersection of Fry Road near Tealbrook Drive. An ambulance responded to the scene transporting her to North Cypress Medical Center, where she later passed. Stratton initially fled the scene, yet returned after consulting with his parents. Stratton was arrested and is facing a felony charge of failure to stop and render aid involving a death.
In a similar story, a man, who was seriously injured in an auto-pedestrian incident on February 20, 2015 in West Houston, died from his injuries. According to authorities, the 22-year-old man was struck by a tan colored Chevrolet SUV on the 1300 block of Blalock and Westview Drive. Emergency personnel transported the man to Ben Taub General Hospital where he clung to life for several days before passing away.
When a charter bus crash occurs, the results are usually tragic. A full passenger vehicle may hold up to 50 people or more, and only some vehicles come with safety restraints. Also, because these vehicles are so heavy, there is a great deal of force involved in any wreck. While this means smaller vehicles are at high risk around passenger vehicles, an accident can send metal debris flying or result in a fire. As a result, the injuries caused by these disasters can be severe.
As long as the driver maintains control of the vehicle and the company that owns the vehicle maintains it properly, the chances of a severe charter bus crash are minimal. However, driver inattention and owner negligence are extremely common, and lapses in training procedures are also an issue. A passenger vehicle driver has to maintain a commercial driver’s license and must undergo an extensive training process to get accustomed to the vehicle, its air brakes, and the route the driver will take. Typically, this takes between one and three months. In truth, this training phase is often truncated, putting everyone in the vehicle at risk. And if the vehicle’s brakes, engine, and tires aren’t regularly inspected, sudden mechanical failure may occur, and an untrained driver will not be able to respond properly.
A vehicle that weighs more than 10 tons has to be maintained and handled properly at all times. When someone responsible for either acts negligently, the results can be devastating.
The most effective way to prevent infant death on the road is to place the child securely in a car seat. Even the safest driver is going to be involved in a minor accident from time to time, and what would be a forgettable fender bender to an adult can cause serious injury to a young child. This is particularly true of children under 1 year of age, as their bones haven’t fully formed yet and can’t handle as much stress as older children and adults. In fact, a young child is 70 percent more likely to be killed in a crash if they are not placed in a car seat. And it only takes minutes to do.
A car seat can prevent infant death by directing the forces involved in a crash away from the child. They are highly effective at preventing head, neck and spine trauma and can shield the child from debris and shattered glass. However, they have to be placed in the vehicle correctly. The seat should face the back of the car and be in the back seat. The shoulder straps should not touch the child’s neck, and the child should not be dressed in bulky clothes that may interfere with the straps in any way. Instead, place a blanket over the child once they are strapped in to keep them warm.
Eventually, the child won’t need their seat anymore, but if a parent wants to do everything possible to see that day, they should always protect their child with a car seat and proper installation.
An attorney that handles defective product cases knows the law offers a powerful layer of protection for consumers everywhere. Every year, thousands of these claims are filed in courts around the nation, and they range from simple cases to widespread recalls of entire vehicle models. In general, though, the approach is similar. The attorney and victim will work together to demonstrate the victim’s injuries to the court and prove that the flawed item was responsible for the accident.
A successful claim must show that the victim was injured and that the defective product caused their injury. The law also requires the attorney to prove that the victim was using the item appropriately at the time of the accident. For example, if a driver is in an SUV that rolls over due, at least in part, to a design flaw, they may be in line for a settlement. If, however, a police report states that the driver was speeding recklessly at the time, it will be harder to win a claim.
Because it can be difficult to prove these claims, most cases are organized in the wake of a recall. This usually means vehicle and drug recalls, though manufacturers may also recall children’s toys and appliances fairly often. Regardless, though, the attorney will do their best to gather expert witnesses and information relevant to the item in question and its manufacturer. This will ensure the victim is as prepared as can be during negotiation and trial.
There are two fatality related stories in today’s blog including a single-vehicle rollover and an accidental auto-pedestrian incident in Houston, TX.
Overnight, a man died after rolling his Honda Ridgeline pickup in northeast Houston. The Man was traveling southbound on the 8500 block of the Eastex Freeway near Keeland when he lost control on his vehicle causing it to roll multiple times. The man was ejected from the vehicle resulting in serious injuries, which claims his life at the scene of the incident. Authorities are investigating whether a seatbelt usage or alcohol were contributing factors in cause of the incident.
Carol Derewanko of West Houston was struck and killed by her daughter as the exited a 2007 Saturn SUV Wednesday evening. According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Department, Derewanko was in the process of walking to her residence in the 22400 block of Cove Hollow Drive, when she fell in front of the SUV as it drove away.
There were several interesting stories over the weekend to cover in today’s blog including a wrong-way driver and several serious car accidents involving fatalities in Houston, TX.
Early Saturday morning, Billie Hollie, a 42-year-old Conroe man, was driving the wrong direction on Interstate 45 which prompted public concern. Upon further investigation by the Conroe Police Department, Hollie was arrested for possession of a controlled substance. According to Hollie, a motorist pointed him in the wrong direction which he was unable to subsequently correct.
Also occurring early Saturday morning, a fatal car accident claimed the life of a woman near George Bush Intercontinental Airport in northwest Houston. According to reports, Barbara Chretain was traveling northbound on 20500 block of Aldine Westfield Road when it strayed off the roadway and rolling over multiple times. Chretain was ejected from her 1994 Toyota Corolla through the driver’s door window. Authorities have not ruled out alcohol as a contributing factor in this tragic incident and continue their investigation.
In an eerily similar story, a man died Sunday morning after in a single-vehicle collision in northwest Houston. The man’s vehicle veered off the roadway on Veterans Memorial and Torre Forest crashing into a concrete culvert causing the vehicle to explode in flames. Bothe the male and the vehicle were burned beyond recognition. Police is currently investigating the contributing factors as to the cause of this incident.
Finally, a woman lost control of her vehicle causing a single vehicle collision this morning in the Cypress area. The vehicle struck several trees on West Road and Wheat Road in Houston. A woman was transported to a local hospital.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the worst medical conditions a person can experience, as it often results in permanent complications. Trauma to the brain can occur in a variety of settings, but vehicle accidents, gunshot wounds and falls cause the vast majority of TBIs. Vehicle accidents, in particular, are responsible for a vast number of TBIs because of the violent physical forces involved. Striking the dashboard or being whipped around the inside of the vehicle cabin can easily result in contusions, lacerations and lesions to sensitive tissue inside the skull.
A brain injury can present in a number of unpredictable ways, though the severity of the TBI will largely determine how profound the complications are. A mild TBI like a concussion may fade after a week or two and leave no lasting effects. A severe TBI can kill a person instantly or put them in a deep coma. Even people who recover from a moderate or severe TBI will typically have long-term debilitations to deal with, including speech, mood, motor or cognitive disorders.
Treating a TBI is expensive and often requires extended physical and mental therapy. This can quickly put someone in financial danger, which is why many victims consider speaking with an attorney about their accident. Many of these incidents are preventable, and if negligence causes them, then a victim has a legal right to compensation.
Today’s story reports on yet another fatal car accident in Houston, TX.
Last night, a single-vehicle collision claimed the life of a man and injured a female passenger in southwest Houston. According to authorities, the couple was traveling westbound on Hidalgo Street near McCulloch Circle, when their Chevrolet Malibu veered off the roadway clipping the curb and striking a tree. Emergency personnel responded and transported both victims to Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital, where the male victim would later succumb to his injuries. The female appeared to have non-life threatening injuries and was treated and released. Authorities continue the investigation of the deadly crash. As I can only hope, a thorough investigation of the Chevrolet Malibu will be conducted to determine the possibility of a defective GM ignition switch playing a part in this fatal incident. The danger of these defective GM ignition cases, where a vehicle loses steering control and air bag deployment capabilities, has been covered in the news, as well as this blog, in recent months.
One of the worst industrial accidents that can occur on a worksite is a crane collapse. When one of these massive pieces of machinery fails, the results are often sudden and deadly. Towering lifters are responsible for handling tons of material in a single go, and though they can exert a tremendous amount of power, they are rather risky if they are not operated just right. In Texas, this is a scary proposition because the state does not require operators to be certified. In the wake of some of the worst accidents in state history, one of the primary causes was having poorly trained workers at the controls.
In most cases, when a crane collapse occurs, it’s because the lifter was used beyond its operational limits. For example, the July 2008 incident in south Houston that killed four workers was due to maneuvering the lifting boom at an angle that the boom could not maintain. This was, in part because the operator was not trained to manage different risky situations. In some cases, lifters are weighed down with additional counterweights and forced to pick up loads beyond their normal capacity. While the counterweights will keep the lift from tipping, it won’t keep the boom upright, which is usually what fails in these situations.
These accidents can be prevented if worksite safety managers observe proper measures during the setup and operation of the machine. Unfortunately, too many worksites willingly put their workers at risk.