TEXAS ACCIDENTS IN THE NEWS: Day of October 15, 2014

An alleged drunk driver struck and killed a man pushing a bicycle along the East Freeway near Sheldon Road last night.  The Harris County Sherriff’s Department arrested the driver for driving while intoxicated, yet refuses to include intoxication manslaughter since the pedestrian was in the lane of traffic.

Robert Kirk Owens, 43, of Nacogdoches, TX, died in a head-on collision with a big-rig truck Monday morning in Walker County.  According to local authorities, Owens was traveling southbound on Highway 19 when he lost control of his vehicle on the wet pavement entering the opposite lane of traffic and slamming into the big rig.  Owens died at the scene of the incident while an ambulance transported his passenger Courtney Todd Allen, 43, to a local medical facility in Conroe.  Emergency personnel transported the driver of the big rig Andrew Curt Muse, 23, to a Huntsville hospital.  The incident remains under investigation.

A private school bus struck a male cyclist this morning in southeast Houston resulting in his death.  According to the Houston Police Department, the incident occurred on Airport Blvd. near Hansen Road affecting all eastbound traffic.  The incident is currently under investigation.

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TEXAS ACCIDENTS IN THE NEWS: Day of October 14, 2014

Two women allegedly under the influence of alcohol sustained minor injuries early Monday morning after leaving a club located near Gulf Bank Road and Airline Drive.  They struck several parked vehicles and crashed into a used tire shop in north Houston.  An off-duty Harris County Sherriff attempted to apprehend the females before hitting the used tire shop.  The incident is currently under investigation.

Debra Powell Dewberry, 63, of Onalaska, TX died early Saturday morning in an intersectional collision at Highway 59 and FM 350 in Polk County.  According to local authorities, Dewberry failed to yield the right of way at the stop sign causing Jodi Lynn Groves, 37, to strike her with her Jeep Wrangler.  Dewberry passed away at the scene of the incident.

One of the three teenagers involved in a single-vehicle rollover on Sunday died yesterday from his injuries in San Angelo, TX.  Jehren Hebert, a 16-year-old, was found pinned under the Jeep after it flipped several times.  According to the San Angelo Police Department, the driver Cristian Bustos, 16, attempted to “drift,” which is an off-road maneuver, losing control of his Jeep.   Both Bustos and another passenger David Rodriguez, 16, refused treatment at the time of the incident, which occurred on private property near the Mayfield Paper Company.

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TEXAS ACCIDENTS IN THE NEWS: Day of October 13, 2014

Liobardo Reyes is facing charges of intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault on a public servant after allegedly causing a head–on collision over the weekend in West Houston.  According to authorities, Reyes was driving the wrong direction on Clay Road near North Eldridge Parkway when he struck Harris County Sherriff’s Deputy D. Johnson.  Reyes’ female passenger died at the scene of the crash while Life Flight transported both Deputy Johnson and Reyes in critical condition to Memorial Hermann Hospital.

After a minor fender bender on the 9700 block of Sheldon Road near Highway 90, Erick Chavez got out of the vehicle attempting to flag down help, and it cost him his life.  According to authorities, a gray Chevrolet Silverado struck and killed Chavez.  The incident is currently under investigation.

A single-vehicle collision in the early morning hours of Saturday results in the death of one teenager and injury to a second one near Buffalo Springs Lake, TX.  According to local authorities, Dakota Wayne Beck, 19, and Adam Juan Medina, 19, both of New Braunfels, were traveling northbound on FM 835 near East County Road 7100 when they lost control of their vehicle.  The vehicle veered into a ditch and struck a utility pole.  Beck died at the scene while an ambulance transported Medina to a local Lubbock medical center in stable condition.

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TEXAS ACCIDENTS IN THE NEWS: Day of October 9, 2014

A Montgomery County grand jury has chosen not to file any criminal charges in the tragic boating crash, which claimed the lives of three people on Lake Conroe this past summer.     On the night of July 1, 2014, a bass boat sheered into the side of a big-bow pleasure boat carrying a family.  After the reconstruction of the wreck, the investigators concluded both vessels were traveling at a high speed in pitch darkness, both of which contributed to the heartbreaking result.  Kristina Cole Frost, 29, Leilani Cole, 30, and Jason Frost, 9, all died after the collision.

After pleading guilty for intoxicated manslaughter, Emilio Gomez, 24, was sentenced to 18 years in prison by a Hidalgo County judge.  Eddie Arguelles, a 38-year-old, was cycling with a friend when Gomez struck him.  Arguelles flew up and into the bed of Gomez’s vehicle.  Gomez then attempted to dispose of the body.

Authorities have pulled the body of a 67-year-old man from Lake Conroe yesterday afternoon.  Investigators are verifying what happened to the man who was attempting to load his boat onto a trailer when his body went underwater. Montgomery County Constable Pct. 1 found his abandoned boat and truck.

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TEXAS ACCIDENTS IN THE NEWS: Day of October 8, 2014

A serious collision involving two industrial vehicles and a passenger vehicle yesterday afternoon in Montgomery County results in two deaths.  According to local authorities, an oversized-industrial vehicle and its escort vehicle were traveling southbound on FM 149 near Yell Cemetery when the incident occurred.  The over-sized vehicle veered into the northbound traffic and struck two vehicles approaching the opposite direction.  Bertha Seuntjens, 75, died at the scene of the incident, while Life Flight transported two others to Memorial Herman Hospital including Andrew Bailey, 32, who later passed from his injuries.  An ambulance transported a fourth victim to Conroe Regional Medical Center.

A serious crash on Interstate 20 leads to the death of one and traffic closure, which lasted several hours.   Yesterday afternoon, a Mazda traveling eastbound on Interstate 20 suddenly suffered a flat tire that caused it to slow.  Unfortunately, Interstate 20 does not have an emergency shoulder.  A Honda struck the rear of the Mazda at much higher rate of speed and forced it over into the left lane also striking a Lexus.  The impact resulted in the death of a male passenger in the back of the Mazda.  Emergency personnel transported two minor children, who were also in the rear of the Mazda, to Cook Children’s hospital in Ft. Worth, TX.

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TEXAS ACCIDENTS IN THE NEWS: Day of October 7, 2014

Rough waves caused a boat to strike the jetties off the coast of Galveston Monday morning resulting in the death of Robert Wallace, 66, who is originally from Illinois.  Robert and his wife Cassandra Wallace, 69, drifted in the water for several hours but separated after waves threw them into rocks.  Cassandra swam to shore, and an ambulance transported her to a local hospital.  Multiple agencies are investigating this incident.

A deadly four-vehicle collision caused the death of a woman and hospitalization of two others yesterday morning on Highway 183 in Travis County, TX.  According to local authorities, a pick-up traveling southbound on the 9300 block of Highway 183 slowed to enter a Chevron gas station. A Chevy sedan immediately behind the pick-up slowed down as well, but, unfortunately, a Chevy pick-up behind the Chevy sedan failed to control its speed causing the lethal incident.  The Chevy pick-up rammed the Chevy sedan causing it to lose control entering the opposite lanes of traffic and striking a Dodge pick-up.  The passenger of the Chevy sedan died at the scene and ambulance transported the driver to a local medical center.  The Chevy pick-up then struck a Ford pick-up.

A single-vehicle rollover accident claimed the life of one and seriously injured another Sunday morning on Highway 130 near Elroy Road in Del Valle, TX.  According to local authorities, the violent forces of the rollover caused the ejection of a female, who died at the scene.   An ambulance transported an older male from the scene to University Medical Center Brakenridge.  The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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TEXAS ACCIDENTS IN THE NEWS: Day of October 6, 2014

U.S. Congressman Ralph Hall, 91, of Rockwall, TX suffered a serious hip injury over the weekend stemming from a motor vehicle accident in Trenton, TX.  Congressman Hall, the oldest ever representative, was injured when a vehicle made a left turn in front of his vehicle causing a serious collision.  Hall received a helicopter transport to Medical Center in Plano, TX where he will require corrective surgical intervention.  A full recovery is expected.

A helicopter crashed Saturday morning in Wichita Falls, TX as an AirEvac Lifeteam was attempting to transfer a patient from Waurika, OK to United Regional Health Care.  The 206 LongRanger III fell from the sky several blocks away from its intended destination.  The patient, who was in critical but stable condition, died at the scene.  The paramedic and flight nurse were transported to the burn unit at Parkland Hospital in Dallas where they are listed in critical condition.  The helicopter pilot was admitted to a local Wichita Falls medical center where he is also listed as serious but in stable condition.  The cause of the incident is under investigation by a multitude of agencies, which include the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Over the weekend, a man died after he struck a parked vehicle along the side of the Katy Freeway that was in the process of being towed.  The man driving a Nissan Altima was traveling along the 11200 block of the Katy Freeway when he entered the shoulder and struck the rear of a Ford Expedition.    The driver of the Nissan dried at the scene.  Local authorities are investigating the cause of the collision.

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Lawsuit Filed Against Two Houston Churches

On October 1, 2014, a lawsuit was filed in Harris County District Court alleging that a local mega church’s “marketing scheme” led to the sexual exploitation of a 12-year-old member of the church’s youth group, both there and at the next church which hired this sexual predator without any proper vetting, investigation or training.

Second Baptist Church has a membership of over 63,000; with 5 campuses spread out over the Greater Houston area. It has an average attendance of over 24,000 a week, making it the largest Baptist church in the nation.

The unnamed victim was recruited to attend Second Baptist by Chad Foster, a high school pastor at Second Baptist’s Cypress campus. Thousands of “sexting” messages and Skype communications uncovered by law enforcement agencies revealed Foster’s acts of self gratification as he pressured the youth to take off her clothes, talk “dirty” to him and engage in sex. The lawsuit alleges that suddenly and without explanation, Foster was passed off to the Community of Faith Church in Hockley Texas. Called a “pied piper” and rock star to the youth, Foster led part of his following to Community of Faith, where the sexual exploitation continued. Foster is currently in prison serving a five-year sentence in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison.

It is alleged that both churches were in the possession of information sufficient to give a reasonable employer notice of the risk of harm Chad Foster presented to the teenagers under his power and control. The minor remains in therapy and a Writ of Attachment for an amount of money deemed appropriate by the Court to meet this child’s treatment needs was also included as part of the lawsuit.

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TEXAS ACCIDENTS IN THE NEWS: Day of October 2, 2014

A vessel named Texas Cutter drew much-unwanted attention yesterday afternoon after causing a halt to intercostal water traffic near the Bolivar Peninsula.  The Texas Cutter was dredging the floor when it happened to float into the path.  In order to control the vessel, the crew lowered their spud, a long metal pole that allows it to maintain the position.  Unfortunately, the spud bent while it dug its way into the floor.  To make matters worse, a passing tugboat collided with the Texas Cutter while the U.S. Coast Guard attempted to wiggle it free from the floor’s grip.  Injuries are unreported at this time.

A 1-year-old girl passed away last night at the intersection of FM 1960 and Walters Road in northwest Houston after another vehicle failed to yield the right of way at a stop light causing a severe collision.  The infant was traveling in a small, white sedan with her aunt and uncle, who failed to restrain the child properly in a child safety seat prior to the collision.  The vehicle that ran the red light is a pick up, and it broadsided the smaller vehicle carrying the infant.  LifeFlight transported the infant to the Medical Center to no avail.  What should have been a wreck with minor injuries has turned into a tragedy.  Local authorities continue their investigation to see what charges may be filed against both drivers.

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What Should Victims Know About Fire And Burn Cases

There is no set legal process for managing fire and burn cases, but these claims often involve large settlements, due to the nature of the injury. Second and third-degree burns are some of the worst injuries to deal with because they often result in chronic pain, loss of mobility, disfigurement and a general loss of quality of life. All of these factors are considerations when seeking a settlement.

More than anything, the court will consider what responsibility the defendant had to the victim regarding their safety. At work, employees expect to have a safe place to do their jobs. When fire and burn cases are the result of a workplace hazard, the victim will be able to get some benefits through workers’ compensation. This compensation is often paltry, though, compared to what a victim will have to pay for treatment and long term support. If the employer or a third party was negligent at the time of the injury, and this negligence was a contributing factor, the victim may be able to pursue a civil case for additional restitution.

If the fire and subsequent burn were the result of a defective product, the victim would need to prove that the burn was caused by the product and that the product was defective.

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