Archive for March, 2012

Intoxication assault charge after driver hit HPD officer and man changing tire

A female HPD officer stopped to help a man change a flat tire in the shoulder on Houston North Loop when her patrol car was struck from behind by a drunk driver. The accident happened around 11:45pm on Saturday March 24th. The accident happened at around 7400 North Loop near Homestead Road. As the HPD officer was walking from her patrol car toward the man changing the flat tire, the drunk driver‘s gray-colored 4-door sedan struck the driver’s side rear corner of her patrol car. The force of the collision pushed the patrol car forward, pinning the motorist between his car and the police car, crushing his legs. The policewoman was also struck in the accident. Investigator found the driver of the car was visibly intoxicated and arrested him for intoxication assault. The police officer was transported to Memorial Hermann and the driver of the stranded vehicle was taken to Ben Taub with serious leg injuries. Channel 2’s News Story is here. If you have been injured due to a drunk driver’s gross negligence, contact Smith & Hassler‘s experienced Houston injury attorneys to make sure you fully understand your legal rights, the damages you can recover and to protect you from unfair insurance claims handling practices.

A man has been charged with intoxication assault after crashing into a HPD police car and a man stopped to change a flat tire on the North Loop

Officer Ryan Simpson with Splendora P.D. recovering after 18-wheeler accident

After sustaining very serious injuries in a collision with a Navajo Express 18-wheeler on FM 1485, it appears Splendora Police Officer Ryan Simpson, 28, has a long recovery road ahead of him. Officer Simpson collided with the 18-wheeler on Monday while searching for an armed robbery suspect. The incident is still under investigation and no tickets have been issued yet. The city of Splendora is having a blood drive in honor of Officer Simpson this coming Tuesday at Splendora City Hall from 10:00am to 4:00pm, or at any time thereafter at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s 14 Houston-area Donor Centers now through April 4. Channel 13’s story.
It appears opinions may be changing with respect to how the accident unfolded. A Channel 13 story states that initial reports were that the 18-wheeler pulled into the roadway in front of Officer Simpson’s patrol vehicle, interfering with Officer Simpson’s right-of-way. Now however the Texas Department of Public Safety says there is evidence the 18-wheeler was already in the roadway turning from Roberts Road onto FM 1485 prior to Officer Roberts traveling westbound on 1485 and crashing into the side of the big rig.
The Montgomery County Police Reporter on Tuesday March 20th wrote that Officer Simpson was recognizing people in his hospital room in the intensive care unit, but was not able to communicate because of a breathing tube. At that time he still had several surgeries ahead of him. Officer Simpson was missed at the East Montgomery County Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner, where he was to accept the 2011 award. In his absence Constable Hayden asked all uniformed officers to come forward and accept the award on Officer Simpson behalf. A photo was taken and sent to Officer Simpson.
An account has been set up at Amegy Bank for Officer Ryan Simpson’s benefit. Donors can go to any Amegy Bank and make a deposit to “The Ryan Simpson Benefit.” Donations can also be dropped off or mailed to Splendora City Hall, Attn: City Secretary for Ryan, P.O. Box 1087, Splendora, TX 77372.

Child seriously hurt when bicycle struck by Dodge truck on Kuykendahl Road

There was a collision between a Dodge Ram pickup truck and a child on a bicycle at around 5:30pm on Thursday March 22, 2012 and the child is in critical condition. Three children on bicycle were attempting to cross the street when one of them, a boy, was hit. According to Harris County Sheriff’s deputies, the boy suffered some cuts and bruises and a serious head wound. It is not expected that the driver will be charged because the boy was not in a crosswalk at the time of the crash. Channel 2’s coverage of the bicycle accident is here. Smith & Hassler’s experienced injury attorneys represent people in Houston and throughout Texas for injuries sustained in bicycle accidents.

Wrong way crash on Highway 59 in Fort Bend kills one person, injures another

An early morning crash has left one person dead and another hospitalized. According to state troopers, a driver was heading north in the southbound lanes of Highway 59 near Thompson Highway around 3:00am, which caused a head-on collision between two vehicles. Troopers are investigating why the driver was heading the wrong way at the time of the accident.

Splendora police officer badly hurt in crash with Navajo Express 18-wheeler

A Splendora Police Officer is in serious condition in hospital after being injured in a collision with a Navajo 18-wheeler on FM 1485 near SH 242 last night. The officer was assisting Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in a search for a suspect when the collision happened at around 1:45am. The Spendlora officer was heading westbound on FM 1485, apparently without his sirens activated, when the 18-wheeler pulled out in front of him. The officer’s patrol car then t-boned the 18-wheeler‘s trailer. Witnesses said the officer has the right-of-way at the time of the crash. The Texas Dept of Public Safety is investigating the accident. Unfortunately the officer was seriously hurt and was taken via life flight helicopter to Memorial Hermann Hospital. Channel 13’s story is here. The officer’s name has not yet been released. The Montgomery County police blotter story is here. Channel 2’s story is here. The 18-wheeler involved in the accident appears to belong to Navajo Express, a long-haul trucking company founded in 1981 and based in Denver, Colorado.

A Splendora police officer was seriously hurt in a collision with an 18-wheeler on FM 1485 last night

We wish the Splendora officer a full recovery and our prayers are with him, his family and his colleagues.

Suspected drunk driver kills 4-year old boy, critically injures 3-year old in crash on Harwin

Houston has another horrific example of the tragedy that can come from drunk driving. A suspected drunk driver lost control of his vehicle last night, crashing into an killing a four-year old little boy and critically injuring his 3-year old brother. The accident happened around 11:00pm on March 17 at Harwin and Parkfront. The 4-year old died at the scene and the 3-year old was rushed to Memorial Hermann Hospital with burns on 40% of his body; he may be transported to Shriner’s Hospital.
Police say the two brothers were sitting on the porch with their dad who was grilling. The suspected drunk driver was heading westbound on Harwin when he lost control. The car missed a tree, metal staircase and pillar prior to crashing into the boys. The suspected drunk driver was not hurt in the collision and is in custody with charges pending.
God bless the two little boys and their family.
Update: The suspected drunk driver has been identified as Luis Hector Lopez. Lopez has been charged with intoxication manslaughter and is being held without bond. A Channel 2 News story shows a picture of Luis Hector Lopez’ silver-colored Ford Crown Victoria embedded in the front porch of the apartment at 10200 Harwin.

Hector Luis Lopez has been charged with intoxication manslaughter after crashing his Ford Crown Victoria into an apartment porch, killing a 4-year old boy and seriously injuring a 3-year old.

Girl ejected when SUV flips on I-45 near Spring Steubner in Houston

A car cut off an SUV on Interstate 45 near Spring Steubner in Houston Friday evening, causing the SUV to flip over. Nine children were riding in the SUV and two adults. Despite that all of the occupants were wearing seat belts, a 12-year old girl was ejected from the SUV during the crash. That girl and two others were taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital by life flight helicopter. Channel 11’s story on the I-45 rollover accident is here.

If you have been seriously injured because a vehicle safety device failed to protect you, such as an airbag or seat belt, you may have a products liability claim against the vehicle manufacturer. Smith & Hassler exclusively represents injured people in Houston and throughout Texas.

TSU students chase drunk driver after accident on Scott Street

After a highly intoxicated driver rear-ended their car on Scott Street last night and took off, two TSU students gave chase. The students followed the drunk driver as he drove on the Gulf Freeway and sped through several neighborhoods. The drunk driver eventually trapped himself by driving into a dead-end street on Val Verde near Chimney Rock: he tried to drive over the grass to get away but the student driving the car blocked him in. The suspect then got out of his SUV and attempted to flee, but the student gave chase. The victims were on the phone with the 911 operator while they pursued the suspect, and police arrived at the scene and arrested the man. Channel 2’s story is here. Hats off to the TSU students for helping take a drunk driver off the streets. Smith & Hassler’s Houston personal injury attorneys aggressively pursue claims against drunk drivers who injure others.

3-year old girl injured on Techno Jump Ride at 2012 Houston Rodeo

A 3-year old little girl suffered a head injury and bruising to her face after being thrown from the Techno Jump Ride at RodeoHouston today. According to witnesses, the little girl’s mom decided to get off before the ride started, allowing the girl and her 8-year old brother to continue the ride without her. RodeoHouston spokesperson Sarah Poole said that the little girl crawled out from underneath the restraining bar of the Techno Jump Ride then fell to the ride’s platform. The ride had apparently just started but had not reached its operating height. The little girl was in and out of consciousness as she was rushed to Texas Children’s Hospital. Ms. Poole said the girl met the height requirement for the Techno Jump Ride, and also said the ride was inspected on March 13th and passed inspection. Channel 11’s coverage of the Techno Jump incident is here. Channel 2’s report is here. The Houston Chronicle’s story is here.
Houstonians will recall that last year 47-year old Brian Greenhouse died at the 2011 Houston Rodeo when he fell 28 feet from the Hi-Miler Rollercoaster. A wrongful death lawsuit filed by Mr. Greenhouse’s family member settled for an undisclosed amount shortly before the commencement of the 2012 Houston Rodeo.

A 3-year old girl was injured when she fell from the Techno Jump Ride at the 2012 Houston Rodeo

Honda Accord sought in fatal hit-and-run on West Fuqua

The driver of a white-colored Honda Accord hit and killed a pedestrian this morning around 2:15am and kept on driving. The victim is a Hispanic male in his 40’s and the accident happened on West Fuqua in southwest Houston. According to a witness the Honda Accord swerved and hit the man, who was apparently standing in the street, but then kept going. The witness said the driver stopped at a stop sign, got out of this car and checked his vehicle for damage. The witness made eye contact with the driver and suggested the driver go back to the accident scene since someone had been struck, however the driver got back in his vehicle and left. The witness said the driver did not appear to be drunk. Police are on the lookout for a white Honda Accord that has damage to the front passenger side, possibly damage to the window also. A female driver attempted to chase the Accord to get a license plate number – police would like to speak with that lady also. Channel 13’s story is here.

Houston personal injury attorneys Smith & Hassler represent the victims of hit-and-run accidents in Houston and throughout Texas, and also represents family members in wrongful death claims.