Archive for June, 2011

I 10 east in Sealy shut down when two big rigs wreck

Channel 13 Eyewitness news is reporting a major collision between two 18-wheelers on Interstate 10 eastbound in Sealy, Texas. There is no word on whether anyone was injured, and the entire eastbound side of I-10 has been closed. At least one of the 18-wheeler appears to have burned up.

Alcohol may be a factor in head-on crash on FM 1960 and Oak Timbers

Police are working to determine what caused a serious head-on crash last night on FM 1960 and Oak Timbers.  Three people were injured in the car accident and it is through that alcohol may have contributed to the wreck. According to deputies the female driver of a Pontiac Grand Am was swerving when she drifted across the center line and struck an oncoming car (which based on the photograph was a Chrysler PT Cruiser or a Chevrolet HHR). Both drivers involved were transported to the hospital and reportedly were in stable condition, but a passenger in the Pontiac Grand Am is in serious condition. The driver of the Pontiac was to be tested for possible alcohol consumption. ABC Channel 13’s coverage is here.

Three were injured, one seriously, in this head-on crash at FM 1960 and Oak Timbers

If you or a loved on have been victimized by an automobile accidentmotorcycle accidentpedestrian accidentbicycle accident or truck accident caused by a drunk driver, call the experienced Houston personal injury attorneys at Smith & Hassler for a free consultation. The earlier in your case you call, the better: the insurance company will want you to settle for a small amount as early as possible and have you sign a release. This will limit the insurance company’s liability and prevent them from having to pay more later. Smith & Hassler’s personal injury attorneys have aggressively represented injured people in the Houston area and throughout Texas for more than 20-years, including bereaved family members bringing wrongful death lawsuits.

Driver killed in Highway 6 collision with backhoe carrying rebar in construction area is reporting a fatal collision on State Highway 6 near Lake Shore Boulevard between a car and a backhoe carrying a load of rebar in an area that was under construction. Missouri City Police indicate the wreck happened around 8:15am Tuesday June 28th. Both vehicles were traveling in the same direction at the time of the wreck and investigators are working to determine which driver had which lane. Under consideration is whether the rebar load extended too far from the backhoe or if the driver changed lanes too quickly. The driver of the car died at the scene. The construction company operating the backhoe was not identified in the article. Typically when an accident involves a fatality and there is a question as to how the accident happened and who is responsible, the law enforcement agency investigating will conduct a full-blown accident investigation, probably performed by a specially trained accident reconstructionist.

One killed in accident on South Main when Suzuki SUV made illegal u-turn

Several Houston media outlets are reporting a deadly crash in the 13700 block of South Main in Houston near Hillcroft at around 12:10am Wednesday June 29th. The names of the two drivers involved have not been released: after the wreck they were both rushed to Memorial Hermann Hospital where one driver, a man, was pronounced dead. The surviving driver apparently sustained a head injury, but fortunately he was conscious and talking at the accident scene and is expected to survive the crash. Houston Police Department said the driver of a Suzuki SUV made an illegal u-turn by driving over a grass median to turn from the northbound lanes to the southbound lanes on Main. A Ford Explorer traveling southbound collided with the Suzuki as it entered the southbound lanes. The driver of the Suzuki was killed.

The Houston Chronicle’s report is here. ABC Channel 13 News describes the Suzuki SUV as a minivan and does not mention an illegal u-turn, but says the minivan veered into oncoming lanes.

James John Onak charged with DWI in connection with body in windshield accident

45-year old James John Onak has been charged with felony failure to stop and render aid and also driving while intoxicated in connection with a pedestrian accident Tuesday morning. Onak’s black-colored Mazda 626 car struck pedestrian Fadel Steadman, age 32, severing Fadel’s leg and propelling him through the windshield of the Mazda and into the passenger seat. Rather than stop however Onak drove another 3 miles, stopping when he was pulled over by Deputy Constable Paul Armand because Onak did not have his headlights on. It is believe Fidel had pulled his Ford Explorer over onto the shoulder lane when he experienced car trouble. Onak purportedly told the deputy Constable that he thought he hit something on the freeway but was unaware of the body in his front seat.

This accident is reminiscent of an October 26, 2001 crash in Fort Worth when Chante Mallard struck a 37-year old homeless man with her car, lodging him in the windshield: Mallard drove her car home and parked it in the garage, the homeless man died two days later.

If you or your family have been injured by a drunk driver, call Smith & Hassler for a free initial consultation (either in-person or by phone) with a personal injury attorney. All of the litigators at Smith & Hassler have experience handling both claims and lawsuits against intoxicated drivers. Smith & Hassler aggressively pursues compensation for clients injured by the selfishness of drunk drivers. Insurance companies want to settle claims involving drunk drivers EARLY and FOR AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE. The insurance company knows Harris County juries have little sympathy for intoxicated drivers who hurt others and damage their property. Don’t let an insurance adjuster talk you into giving away your legal rights.

Pedestrian whose car broke down killed walking along Gulf Freeway

The southbound lanes of Houston’s Gulf Freeway (I-45) were shut down for a few hours this morning after a deadly collision involving a car and a pedestrian. The pedestrian was hit on the freeway at around 1:00am, but the car that hit him was found a couple of miles away from where the collision occurred with the pedestrian‘s body in the car that hit him. Witnesses saw the male car driver strike the pedestrian. The pedestrian was wearing a fast food uniform of some sort and was apparently walking on the shoulder of the freeway after his car broke down. The collision was apparently very severe and the pedestrian was almost certainly killed instantly: his leg was severed in the initial impact and the leg was found at the scene of the original collision. The car kept going and ended up at Beamer near Kirkvalley. A Precinct 8 Constable pulled over the driver and arrested him: part of the pedestrian’s body was still in the windshield of the car. ABC Channel 13 story here. The Houston Chronicle’s story is here, and according to the Chronicle’s report the pedestrian was trying to cross the freeway at the time of the collision. KHOU’s story is here, and states the pedestrian victim was walking along the shoulder, not crossing the freeway.

Brazoria County Deputy Sheriff killed in Highway 6 collision with pickup truck

A Brazoria County Deputy Sheriff was killed and another deputy riding with him was seriously injured in a collision on Highway 6 at FM1128 in Manvel, Texas at around 10:30pm Sunday June 26th. The two deputies were traveling in their patrol car on Highway 6 when a pickup truck made a left turn in front of them into a Chevron gas station. Apparently the pickup truck driver did not see the deputies’ vehicle.  The patrol car t-boned the pickup truck, killing one of the deputies. The two people in the pickup truck were injured and were life-flighted to Memorial Hermann along with the injured deputy. A Texas DPS trooper stated the pickup truck appears to be at fault based on their preliminary investigation for failure to yield the right-of-way to the deputies patrol car. The deputy who died in the collision was riding in the front passenger seat of the patrol car. Channel 13 Eyewitness News’ story is here. The Chronicle’s story is here.  The Chronicle’s story identifies the deceased Deputy as 27-year old Charles Allen Vanmeter, and the injured Deputy as 26-year old Joshua Mark Waldrop. The same story also lists the driver of the pickup truck as being 18-years old and the passenger as 17-years old.

Pedestrian killed in hit-and-run collision at Westheimer and Fountainview in Houston

A pedestrian is dead after a hit-and-run collision in Houston near the intersection of Westheimer and Fountainview. The male pedestrian was trying to walk across Westheimer at around 1:20AM when he was hit by a pickup truck. The victim died at the scene and the pickup driver fled. According to investigators, if the driver had remained at the scene he/she would not have faced charges because it appears the pedestrian was jaywalking. Police are looking for the driver of the pickup. Channel 13 Eyewitness News’ story is here.

Christopher Trumpower charged with intoxication manslaughter in Jaguar crash on Interstate 45

Three separate accidents involving a total of 8 vehicles occurred one after the other on I-45 near Cavalcade and police believe alcohol to be a factor in two of those accidents. The first car involved two cars: nobody was hurt in that crash. Investigators had stopped traffic to investigate the first crash when a GMC failed to stop (believed to be stolen), crashing into two other cars and then a police car. The only injury was to the Yukon driver, who police believe was intoxicated at the time.

The last accident happened at the top of an overpass near Patton: 25-year old Christopher Trumpower, driving a black Jaguar, came up the hill and did not see the two cars stopped at the top of the hill. Police believe Trumpower tried to swerve around the vehicles at the last minute, but the passenger side of his Jaguar struck the rear of a silver-colored Lincoln MKX SUV. Tragically the passenger riding in Trumpower’s Jaguar was killed and Trumpower was taken to hospital with non life threatening injuries: he has been charged with intoxication manslaughter. A female passenger riding in the Lincoln was taken to hospital in extremely serious condition. Police found two open liquor bottles in the Jaguar.

Read’s report here. Video from the scene of the collision is here. KHOU’s report is here.

This Lincoln MKX sustained massive rear-end damage when struck by Christopher Trumpower's Jaguar

METRO light rail car involved in wreck at Main Street and Elgin

Thursday June 23, 2011: three people were injured in a collision between a Houston METRO rail and a passenger car on Main Street at Elgin. The accident happened on the northbound tracks at around 2:30pm. METRO says that a passenger car heading eastbound on Elgin disregarded a red light and crashed into the light rail car, then spun out and hit another vehicle. The second vehicle then hit a third. Three people were injured in the accident: two were taken to St. Luke’s Hospital to be treated for their injuries. One of the people injured was on the light rail, the other two injured people were in the motor vehicles. Here is ABC Channel 13’s Eyewitness News report. The Houston Chronicle’s story is here. Smith & Hassler represents the person who was injured while riding in the light rail car.

A car ran a red light at Main Street and Elgin in downtown Houston, crashing into a METRO light rail and other vehicles.

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.