Archive for October, 2011

Cadillac rollover wreck in Montrose kills driver and injures two passengers

KHOU Channel 11 is reporting a fatal accident in the Montrose area early Sunday morning. A Cadillac was seen traveling at a high rate of speed on West Dallas near Columbus at around 3:00 am and when the Cadillac crossed Montrose the driver lost control and the car went into a sideways skid. The Cadillac then hit two wooden telegraph poles splitting both poles in half. The driver of the Cadillac was pronounced dead at the scene and the two passengers were transported to Ben Taub General Hospital in stable condition. HPD indicated tests on the driver would be done to determine if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the wreck.

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.

HPD motorcycle officer escorting oversize 18-wheeler hurt by telephone wire

A Houston Police Department motorcycle officer was injured yesterday while escorting an over-sized load on an 18-wheeler. The incident happened at South Wayside near Avenue R in Houston when the overly tall load made contact with an overhead wire connected to a phone pole. The wire was pulled free of the pole and fell onto the officer causing him to crash his motorcycle. The officer suffered road rash and injury to his neck and back, but is expected to make a good recovery. He was reportedly conscious and alert after the incident and while being transported to Ben Taub with a police escort. Liability for the incident almost certainly lies with the operator of the 18-wheeler: the big-rig driver is responsible for making sure there is adequate clearance for his vehicle to pass.

KHOU’s report of the HPD motorcycle officer’s telephone wire accident is here.
Click here to read the Houston Chronicle’s report of the motorcycle officer injured by the big-rig phone wire collision.

Jose Olivarez charged in deadly accident on W Sam Houston Tollway

Jose Olivarez, a 32-year old undocumented immigrant from Mexico, has been charged with criminally negligent homicide in connection with a high-speed crash on the W. Sam Houston Tollway near Bellaire Boulevard yesterday. According to the Harris County Precinct 5 Constable’s office, Olivarez was driving at high speed in his SUV when he lost control of the vehicle, hit a wall, then a toll booth light, then another wall and finally an SUV in the EZ Tag lane.  The SUV struck by Olivarez flipped over, killing the man driving the flipped SUV.  The man’s wife who was with him in the vehicle reportedly was not physically injured. Officers placed Olivarez in custody on discovering he was uninsured and did not have a driver’s license. A female vehicle in Olivarez’ vehicle fled on foot.

Our hearts go out to the poor lady who lost her husband in this avoidable tragedy.  ALWAYS ensure you are driving at a safe speed for Houston’s busy roads and stop/start traffic conditions.

88-year old passenger dies when vehicle hit by red light running Acura MDX

A traffic accident took the life of an 88-year old lady Monday and Houston police are investigating. The accident was in the 900 block of Eldridge at the Katy Freeway around 10:15am. The elderly lady was riding in a silver-colored Mercury Cougar heading northbound on Eldridge when it was hit in the intersection by a black Acura MDX SUV. According to police the driver of the Acura ran a red light and caused the crash: the elderly lady was transported to Methodist West Houston Hospital where she was pronounced dead. The Acura driver received a citation for running the red light and driving without a license.

Tow truck rear ends and flips car on FM1960 injuring mother and child

A tow truck slammed into the back of a car on FM1960 at Cypress Station causing the car to roll over. A mother and child in the car were transported to hospital to be treated for their injuries. The wrecker driver was not injured. No information was available from local media outlets on the condition of the mother and child.

Barry Lewis Andrews charged in fatal pile up on Sam Houston Parkway

A multi-vehicle pileup on the Sam Houston Parkway on Saturday left two people dead and several others injured. The accident happened at around 11:30pm on Sam Houston Parkway near Veterans Memorial. Channel 13 is reporting that the wreck involved a total of five vehicles and that a suspected drunk driver is being blamed. Tragically a brother and sister in their 20’s were killed in the crash: they have been identified as 27-year old Erica Montez and 24-year old Nick Montez. Sunday evening the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office announced that 55-year old Barry Lewis Andrews has been charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter for the accident. Andrews is from Hockley, Texas.

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) car accidents seem to happen every single night in the Houston area and throughout Harris County.  Sadly Harris County Texas ranks among the highest counties in the nation for drunk driving fatalities and drunk driving accident injuries year after year.  Drunk driving car accidents often create even more complications for the victim than a regular car accident: insurance companies usually won’t pay a claim or provide a rental car until they speak to their insured driver and get their version of what happened. The insurance company can’t do that if their insured was charged with DWI and is in jail. Call Smith & Hassler if you have been injured by a drunk driver’s gross negligence and ask for speak to one of our personal injury attorneys right now.  Smith & Hassler aggressively pursues claims against drunk drivers.

Siblings Killed in 5-Vehicle Accident:

Halley Catherine Shaw hit and run death suspect surrenders to police

Second year law student Halley Catherine Shaw was tragically killed the night of Tuesday October 18th by a hit-and-run driver and according to the Houston Chronicle a man who may be connected to the wreck turned himself in Wednesday. The man walked into the office of the Precinct 6 Harris County Constables who then turned the man over to HPD. Halley attended Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law. She died late Tuesday night when a Nissan Altima in which Halley was riding as a rear seat passenger was struck by a car that ran a red light while trying to evade police. Two other people in Halley’s vehicle were injured in the wreck and taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital: one of those passengers is also a second year student at Thurgood Marshall Law School. The passenger in the fleeing vehicle remained at the scene but the driver fled on foot before police were able to apprehend him. Halley’s many law school friends erected a monument at the scene of the accident. A Channel 13 News story identifies the suspect as 17-year old Daniel Garcia Palacios.

Halley Catherine Shaw died tragically while riding in the rear seat of this Nissan Altima

Sad tale of Daniel Rangel’s death due to drunk driving

A FOX News article uses the tragic death due to (alleged) drunk driving of 22-year old victim Daniel Rangel to remind Houston drivers of important safety practices in the event of a breakdown on the freeway. Daniel was driving in his Suburban on the North Freeway Friday night when the truck broke down at West Mount Houston Road. Miriam Carillo, Daniel’s girlfriend, was riding with him. Another vehicle pulled up behind Daniel’s Suburban but when Daniel got out, the vehicle then sped away. Moments later 36-year old Michael Flores crashed his pickup truck into the back of the Suburban, knocking Daniel (who was standing in front of the Suburban) off the overpass onto West Mount Houston Road. Michael Flores attempted to flee the scene but was caught by police. Daniel was praised by family members as very responsible and a hard worker: he worked as a cook at Ruggles Restaurant and also in housekeeping at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

According to Houston police, DWI wrecks are down to 1,440 compared to 1,611 last year this time. Safety experts say that if your car stalls on the freeway you should put up the hood, turn on your flashers and the interior lights if it is nighttime, call someone to pick you up as soon as possible and never attempt to cross the freeway.

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) car accidents seem to happen every single night in the Houston area and throughout Harris County.  Sadly Harris County Texas ranks among the highest counties in the nation for drunk driving fatalities anddrunk driving accident injuries year after year.  Drunk driving car accidents often create even more complications for the victim than a regular car accident: insurance companies usually won’t pay a claim or provide a rental car until they speak to their insured driver and get their version of what happened. The insurance companycan’t do that if their insured was charged with DWI and is in jail. Call Smith & Hassler if you have been injured by a drunk driver’s gross negligence and ask for speak to one of our personal injury attorneys right now.  Smith & Hassler aggressively pursues claims against drunk drivers.

Allen Kwan charged with intoxication manslaughter in construction worker death

34-year old Allen Kwan has been charged with intoxication manslaughter in connection with the death of a construction worker Sunday October 16, 2011. Kwan was speeding through a construction area on Interstate 45 near Crosstimbers at around 3:00am while driving a silver-colored Infiniti G35. He veered to his left and hit a 33-year old construction worker, killing him.  The name of the construction worker has not yet been released: he was employed by Angel Brothers Enterprises, Inc. located in Baytown. Allen Kwan was charged after being pulled over and given field sobriety tests.

Channel 2’s story on this drunk driving fatality is available here and indicates that Kwan had a passenger riding with him, and that Kwan swerved to his right before the collision. The story also indicates that the construction worker was shoveling loose asphalt onto a newly paved area when he was struck by the Infiniti. FOX News’ story is here.

Construction Worker Hit, Killed on I-45 North:

Penske Truck Company owner of big rig involved in deadly toll booth crash

The 18-wheeler involved in the deadly crash at the North Sam Houston Tollway toll booth has been identified as belonging to Penske Truck Company. The driver of the 18-wheeler died along with the driver of a Ford Explorer waiting at the toll booth when the big rig crashed into a low wall at the toll plaza, then landed on the Explorer and burst into flames. The names of the drivers have not been released pending positive identification by dental records. Investigators are saying it is possible the truck driver fell asleep before the early morning crash or may have experiences a medical condition. Toxicology tests will be used to rule in or out drugs or alcohol playing a factors in the wreck. While the toll booths do have cameras the crash was not captured on video. An accident eyewitness named Casey Cain watched the tragic accident happen and captured video on her mobile phone, which can be viewed on Channel 13’s web site here. The video shows both vehicles completely consumed by fire. In a Channel 13 report on the tragedy, Chief Randy Johnson with the Harris County Precinct 6 Constables indicated that the big rig driver was traveling at least 45MPH and was not even lined up with a toll lane that the 18-wheeler could have fit through, suggesting that the big rig driver may have fallen asleep prior to the crash. The same article reports that the rig was registered to Penske Trucking out of Dallas, was rented to a customer who leases from them and that the driver involved worked for Penske‘s customer. What a terrible loss for both families.