Archive for December, 2011

Patton Village police department motorcycle officer hurt while escorting funeral

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Dec 2011
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Following close in time to the funeral procession crash that seriously injured Pasadena Police Department Sergeant Matt Novotny comes another car versus motorcycle collision that has injured a Patton Village Police Department motorcycle officer, also escorting a funeral. According to a report from Houston’s Channel 11 News, the officer’s motorcycle was clipped causing him to lose control of his motorcycle and fly into the back windshield of another vehicle. The officer was struck by the vehicle in the 12800 block of Cullen at around 12:45pm: the officer was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital with non life threatening injuries. The accident happened on 12/23/2011.

A Patton Village Police Department motorcycle officer was injured when he crashed through the rear window of his car while escorting a funeral.

Suspected drunk driver Jose Meija crashes into HPD patrol car

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Dec 2011
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Suspected drunk driver Jose Meija was arrested after crashing into a HPD patrol car Christmas Day

Suspected drunk driver Jose Meija got some silver-colored bracelets courtesy of HPD on Christmas morning when he failed to yield the right-of-way when turning left and crashed into a HPD police cruiser. The wreck happened at the intersection of Beechnut and Maplecrest around 4:30am on 12/25/2011. After colliding with the police car Meija’s vehicle hit a curb and ran over a stop sign. Fortunately the officer was wearing his seat belt and reportedly sustained minor injuries. Meija has been charged with driving while intoxicated.

Drunk driver involved: 60-year old pedestrian dies at Aldine-Westfield and Woodcreek

Channel 2 News is reporting an intersection collision involving a drunk driver that killed a 60-year old pedestrian in a crosswalk. A 52-year old man was driving drunk, heading westbound on Aldine-Westfield at around 11:00pm on Thursday December 22, 2011. A 27-year old man driving a Buick was heading south on Woodcreek Lane driving a blue-colored Buick. The 52-year old attempted a left turn that caused a collision with the Buick, making the Buick slide sideways and collide with the 60-year old man who was in crosswalk at the time. The 52-year old was intoxicated at the time and is in custody for DWI. Investigators are hoping security camera footage from a business near the scene of the collision with help them determine whether the 52-year old had a solid green light or a green left turn arrow when he entered the intersection. That in turn would determine whether other charges would be filed. The name of the 60-year old victim has not been released. Channel 11’s report on the fatal crash is here.

An intersection collision involving a drunk driver on 12/23/2011 left a pedestrian dead.

Chris Saiz Cinco Ranch student tragically killed in single car wreck

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Dec 2011
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Channel 2 is reporting on a tragic loss for one Houston area family this holiday season. 16-year old Chris Saiz was killed in a single vehicle accident while riding as a passenger in a vehicle driven by another student, 17-year old Derrick Jones. The car crashed in the 4600 block of South Mason Road at around 10:00pm on Tuesday 20th December. According to investigators Derrick was driving northbound on Mason when he struck a curb, over-corrected then traveled across the center median: the car overturned landing on its side in the southbound lane. Chris Saiz was taken by life flight to Memorial Hermann Hospital where he passed away a couple of hours later. Chris Saiz was apparently a leading scorer on the Cinco Ranch basketball team. Friends of Chris Saiz have already set up a memorial page on Facebook which already has 403 “likes” – testament to Chris’ popularity. The page indicates a candlelight vigil will be held tonight in front of the Cinco Ranch gym from 7:00pm to 10:00pm to remember Chris and show support for his family. In a Houston Chronicle article, Cinco Ranch basketball coach Neil King described Chris as “…an unbelievable young man from a great family…he wasn’t just a good basketball player, he was a great student and leader.”

16-year old Cinco Ranch basketball player Chris Saiz was tragically killed in a single vehicle crash on 12-20-2011.

Our hearts go out to Chris’ family. This tragic loss is compounded by how close it comes to Christmas. Our prayers are with the Saiz family.

Woman dies in collision with tow truck on Highway 6

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Dec 2011
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Early on Saturday December 17, 2011 a woman was killed when her car was t-boned by a wrecker truck leaving the scene of a prior collision. A triple wreck had happened on Highway 6 near FM529 at around 2:30am. A two truck driver was leaving this wreck when he t-boned a 24-year old woman pulling onto Highway 6. Tragically the young woman was pronounced dead at the scene. Channel 2’s report of this crash states that the 24-year old woman was pulling out from a stop sign when she was hit by the wrecker. Investigators said several tickets were issued to drivers who attempted to pass through the accident scene, even after Highway 6 had been shut down in both directions.

Fatal accident on Highway 6 near FM529 on Dec 17, 2011

Police are investigating the cause of the fatal accident involving a tow truck.

Motorcyclist injured after hitting guardrail on North Freeway

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Dec 2011
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A motorcyclist is in Ben Taub hospital after a late night accident on the North Freeway. Police said the man was riding at a high rate of speed shortly before 1:00am when he lost control of his motorbike on the north freeway service road at West Canino: the man hit a guardrail and slid for about 50 feet. His condition is described as serious but stable. Wet roads may have been a factor in the accident.

Motorcyclist killed when he rear-ends pickup truck on US290 in Houston

14
Dec 2011
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Local media outlets are reporting a fatal collision on US290 near 43rd street involving a motorcyclist and a pickup truck. According to Houston Police, the motorcyclist was traveling in excess of 100MPH when he rear-ended the pickup truck at around 2:30am. Police also said that the driver of a red-colored Chevrolet was unable to avoid the motorcyclist when he was thrown from the bike, and the Chevrolet ran over the bike rider in the roadway. The freeway was shut down for three hours as emergency responders worked the accident scene.

Pasadena police sergeant Matt Novotny seriously injured in motorcycle wreck

13
Dec 2011
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Pasadena Police Department sergeant Matt Novotny needs our prayers after being seriously injured in a motorcycle accident on Monday December 12, 2011. During the 10:40am motorcycle crash in South Houston Sgt. Novotny’s motorcycle went flying into the air and the officer was thrown at least 30 yards according to a witness. Witness Cesar Chopp said Sgt. Novotny went straight up in the air, moved a little when he landed and then was still. Novotny was transported by life flight to Memorial Hermann to be treated for a broken pelvis and other injuries. The accident happened near the intersection of Almeda and West Fuqua while Novotny was escorting a funeral procession. According to witnesses a blue vehicle hit sergeant Novotny knocking him off his motorbike then continued on and hit another car. The woman driving the car that hit him said she saw the green light as she was approaching the intersection but said she didn’t see the officer’s motorcycle until it was too late. Habiba Halim is identified as the driver who struck Sgt. Novotny in an article by Houston’s Channel 11 News. Police indicated they planned to ticket Ms. Halim for failure to stop for an emergency vehicle: notwithstanding that she has a green light, she still had a duty to stop for the police motorcycle with lights and sirens activated.

Hopefully Sgt. Novotny will fully recover from his injuries.  Unfortunately a broken pelvis is a serious orthopedic injury that typically requires an extensive recovery period. Hopefully both Ms. Halim and Sgt. Novotny have plenty of automobile insurance coverage. The Houston Chronicle’s coverage of the accident is here and indicates that Novotny is a 32-year veteran of Pasadena Police Department. The Chronicle lists the blue vehicle that struck Sgt. Novotny as a Honda CRV and states that Novotny was stopped in the center of the intersection when he was hit. FOX News’ coverage is available here.

Sergeant Matt Novotny was seriously injured in this Dec 12, 2011 motorcycle crash

Sergeant Matt Novotny, 32-year veteran of Pasadena Police Department.

Dodge Charger runs red light at Westheimer and Kirkwood flipping SUV

12
Dec 2011
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A woman was lucky to survive a serious collision at the intersection of Westheimer and Kirkwood 12:15am Sunday morning.  A Dodge Charger traveling approximately 50 MPH ran a red light and crashed into the woman’s SUV causing it to flip over. Police has to rescue the woman from her wrecked vehicle and she and two others were transported to hospital in serious but stable condition. Channel 11’s report on this car accident listed the Dodge Charger as traveling eastbound on Westheimer at the time of the collision. KHOU’s web site features raw video from the scene of the accident. A dark-colored SUV (possibly a Toyota Forerunner) sustained extremely severe damage to the passenger side and the light gray or silver colored Dodge Charger showed massive front-end damage.

This Dodge Charger ran a red light at Westheimer and Kirkwood, colliding with a black SUV.

The collision between the Dodge Charger and the SUV was on 12-11-2011 around 12:15am..

This black SUV sustained major damage to the passenger side in the intersection collision.

Both airbags deployed in the black SUV, hopefully protecting the female driver from more serious injury.

A car accident is a very disruptive event for most people.  A damaged vehicle may mean you cannot get to work, grocery shop, take your kids to school or sporting events, and so on.  Injuries may mean you are unable to work, hence unable to support yourself or your family due to lost wages.  And not only are you missing income because you are unable to work, but you now have unexpected debts for medical treatment, sometimes in the tens of thousands of dollars.  Dealing with all of these challenges at once can feel overwhelming, particularly if you have never been involved in an accident before.  If the at-fault driver had insurance, you are probably dealing with requests for information from the insurance company too.  Smith & Hassler firmly believes that the earlier in the process you get sound advice from an experienced personal injury attorney who is willing to listen to you, answer your questions and provide you guidance, the better.  The insurance company will press you early on to give a recorded statement about the accident, your injuries, your medical history and more: don’t do it, the statement is for their benefit, not yours.  You can call or email Smith & Hassler any time for a free consultation on your car accident injury claim.

Jamilet Zuniga charged in suspected drunk driving death of her six year old niece

Channel 11 News is reporting yet another suspected drunk driving fatality in Houston. 25-year old Jamilet Zuniga has been charged in a suspected drunk driving accident that killed her six-year old niece Blanca Herrera Lopez when Zuniga crashed her maroon-colored Ford Explorer on the North 610 Loop. The accident happened at around 12am Sunday December 11, 2011 when Zuniga apparently lost control of the Explorer and hit the concrete center divider. The Explorer rolled over ejecting six-year old Blanca who was pronounced dead at the scene. Five of the six remaining passengers in the vehicle, three adults and two children, were transported to the hospital. According to witnesses the occupants of the Explorer had just left a party where Jamilet Zuniga had been drinking: Zuniga now faces intoxication manslaughter charges in connection with the deadly accident.

Jamilet Zuniga (25) has been charged with intoxication manslaughter for this 12/11/2011 wreck that killed her 6-year old niece Blanca