Archive for March, 2011

Police officer on motorcycle hurt in crash in Dickinson Texas is reporting a motorcycle crash that injured a police officer early Wednesday in Dickinson, Texas. The officer was taken via helicopter to a Houston hospital; fortunately his condition is listed as good. Officer David Donaldson was heading eastbound on FM 517 in Dickinson when he collided with a vehicle at Pabst Road. Dickinson Police Chief Ron Morales said Donaldson locked up the brakes on the Suzuki Hayabusa he was riding but was unable to stop in time: Donaldson was ejected from the motorbike and somersaulted through the air. The wreck happened shortly after 8:00am. The driver of the other vehicle was not hurt in the crash.

Texas lawmakers consider a statewide ban on texting while driving

Texas lawmakers are considering whether to ban texting while driving across the Lone Star State. There are 10 bills that have been filed in Austin: Senate Bill 138 would ban texting while driving except when using a hands-free device. House Bill 93 provides for a penalty of up to $200 for texting while driving, and another bill (HB103) doubles that fine in school zones. A Channel 11 News article however reports that the various bills don’t seem to be getting much traction and suggests a couple of possible reasons why: telephone company lobbyists or lack of public interest. In the Houston area six cities have banned texting while driving recently: Conroe, Missouri City, West University Place, Bellaire, Alvin and Galveston. Missouri City‘s ban has been in effect since last June, so for about 10 months, however thus far Missouri City P.D. has issued only 5 citations for texting while driving. Only 11 citations have been issued in Galveston and none have been issued in West University Place.

Fatal auto versus pedestrian accident on Westpark has reported an automobile versus pedestrian accident that happened on Westpark Drive near Rampart Street about 8:15AM on Tuesday March 29, 2011. Sadly the pedestrian died after being hit by a vehicle. Investigators say the pedestrian walked across Westpark Drive against the light and the vehicle had the right-of-way at the time. The pedestrian was in a crosswalk. She was taken to Ben Taub General Hospital where she died: her name has not yet been released. Sergeant G. Hall with Houston Police Department is quoted in the article as saying the driver of the vehicle was very distraught, and will not be charged with any offense. Sgt. Hall told the reporter speed wasn’t a factor and a witness waiting at a red light saw what happened.

Scene of a fatal automobile versus pedestrian accident on Westpark Drive on 03-29-2011

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METRO bus crash at La Branch and Franklin causes leg injury

Monday March 28, 2011: is reporting a METRO bus crash at La Branch and Franklin in Houston at around 10:10AM. The bus collided with another vehicle that investigators said made a wrong turn. One passenger on the bus was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital with a leg injury.

This crash between a Houston METRO bus and another vehicle caused a leg injury to a bus passenger

If you have been injured in a bus accident, you can call Smith & Hassler at 1-800-WIN-WIN1 or 713-739-1250 and ask to speak to one of the firm’s personal injury attorneys for a free consultation.

Motorcyclist killed in Baytown accident; child hit by car outside Houston church

ABC Channel 13 eyewitness news made brief reports of two accidents in the Houston area over the weekend.  In one accident on Sunday March 27th a 6-year old child pedestrian was struck by a car outside a Houston church at around 5:00PM. Churchgoers took the child in a private car to Fire Station 59 on Post Oak Boulevard. From there the firefighters took the child to Texas Children’s Hospital where the child was reported to be in stable condition.

Around 7:30PM on Saturday March 26th a man in his 50’s died in a motorcycle crash after it was claimed he took a curve at too high a speed. Harris County Sheriff’s Office investigators say Burl Alsbrooks was driving a 2000 model Honda Shadow motorbike and traveling at a high rate of speed northbound in the 7400 block of the Texas Spur 330. He took the exit ramp to the I-10 east freeway, westbound, at which time he lost control of the bike, left the roadway and hit the metal guardrail. Mr. Alsbrooks was wearing a helmet at the time but it was not a full face helmet, and he struck his face on the guardrail sustaining fatal injuries.  Our sympathies to Mr. Alsbrooks family and friends.

Apartment balcony collapse in Kaufman kills Jose Martinez-Hernandez, 37

ABC Channel 13 news briefly reported a balcony collapse at an apartment complex in Kaufman, Texas that caused the death of 37-year old Jose Martinez-Hernandez. Kaufman is about 30 miles southeast of Dallas. Investigators say an engineer will inspect all of the balconies in the complex. The accident happened Saturday March 26th; Mr. Hernandez fell 12 feet. Reports from WFAA-TV indicate that residents of the complex say crews had been working on several balconies. That report identified the complex as Windtree Apartments in Kaufman.

Under Texas law, just because a person is injured on another’s property does not make the property owner automatically responsible for paying the injured person’s damages. There must be evidence of negligence on the part of the property owner and/or the person responsible for maintaining the property. Often in the context of an apartment complex a property management company is contracted by the owner of the complex to manage the apartments, including safety and maintenance. If you have been injured in a trip and fall or slip and fall incident on another person’s property and suspect the negligence of the property owner was the cause, call the experienced premises liability attorneys at Smith & Hassler for a free consultation.

Driver of car crushed in 18-wheeler accident may be charged with DUI

KHOU Channel 11 News updated the story on the 18-wheeler accident in Fort Worth that left a car crushed and the cab of the 18-wheeler hanging off an overpass above the freeway below. Fort Worth police are saying that the driver of the car, who was pinned inside his crushed vehicle for about an hour after the accident, may face a gun charge and a DUI charge related to the accident. It took more than 3 hours to clear the accident scene and rescue the car driver, a passenger and the trucker. The accident happened just before 4:00AM. Firefighters were able to use a ladder truck to reach up to the 18-wheeler cab and then used an elaborate pulley system to extract the truck through the passenger side of the cab.

The Houston personal injury attorneys at Smith & Hassler aggressively represent clients injured in car accidents caused by intoxicated drivers. If you have been injured due to the negligence of a drunk driver, call Smith & Hassler for a free attorney consultation: don’t let an insurance adjuster talk you into settling for too little, too soon.

The driver of this badly crushed car may face a DUI charge for the accident with the 18-wheeler

Skilled work by Fort Worth firefighters allowed the rescue of the trapped driver of the big rig

18-wheeler accident shuts down Houston traffic on I-45 northbound

Houston area commuters are facing delays this evening due to an overturned 18-wheeler on I-45 northbound at North Main. All of the main travel lanes are blocked by the wrecked big rig. While the 18-wheeler appears to be the only vehicle involved, the cause of the accident is not clear at this time. A fire truck and ambulance were called to the scene, but what injuries were involved (if any) is thus far not known.

Fox News’ coverage of the story is here.’s story is here.

ABC Channel 13’s coverage is here

18 wheeler wreck leaves cab hanging off overpass near Fort Worth

This accident between an 18 wheeler and car left the big rig cab hanging off an overpass

ABC Local News is reporting the dramatic accident pictured above between a car and an 18-wheeler that left 2 people trapped in the car and the truck trapped in his cab, dangling over an Interstate 20 overpass in Fort Worth. The rescue took place early in the morning of Thursday March 24th and the fire department used a ladder truck. An emergency responder was able to climb inside the wrecked cab of the 18-wheeler and assist the truck driver to safety: he was treated on scene for minor injuries. The condition of the occupants of the car was not reported. The cause of the collision is under investigation.

Smith & Hassler’s personal injury attorneys have represented hundreds of Texans injured in 18-wheeler accidents and have significant experience with the special issues in accidents involving commercial vehicles. If you or a family member have been seriously injured in an accident with an 18-wheeler, call 713 739 1250 or 1-800-WIN-WIN1 for a free consultation.

School bus and prison bus collide in Galveston injuring 8 students

KHOU Channel 11 News is reporting a collision between a prison bus and a school bus that sent 8 schoolchildren to the hospital. The collision reportedly happened around 7:37AM at 51st Street and Broadway: 16 students were on board the school bus which was headed to the Alamo school campus.  The prison bus was operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The eight injured students were reported to be complaining of head, neck and back pain and were taken to UTMB Galveston for treatment. 14 inmates riding on the prison bus were removed from the bus and placed in a prison van under the watch of prison guards, Galveston I.S.D. police officers and four Galveston police officers. Apparently the crash happened when both buses were turning at the intersection, but further details of the wreck were not included in Channel 11’s story.

Car accidents commonly result in medical bills, lost income from work and a period of time after the accident when the injured person is in pain and is impaired from performing their normal activities. Texas law allows a person injured in a motor vehicle accident by another’s negligence to seek recovery of money damages.  Speaking to an experienced Houston personal injury attorney early in the process can make the difference between a relatively straightforward claim under the other driver’s insurance policy and a real nightmare.  Insurance companies will deny or undervalue claims if they have a reason to.  Smith & Hassler’s trial-tested Houston personal injury attorneys will provide you with a free consultation regarding your motor vehicle accident injury claim: call now or submit your case online.