Archive for November, 2013

Daragh Carter named to Houstonia Magazine’s Top Lawyers list

Smith & Hassler congratulates Daragh Carter on being named to Houstonia Magazine’s Top Lawyers list for 2013. Daragh has been with Smith & Hassler since April 2006 and practices exclusively in personal injury law. Daragh is board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in personal injury trial law.

Truck rear ends ambulance injuring two paramedics

Paramedics were treating a patient early Saturday morning when a truck slammed into the back of their ambulance on the North Freeway feeder road in Houston.  The truck driver and the paramedics’ patient (a dancer from Fantasy Plaza) were not injured in the crash; the two paramedics were taken to hospital in stable condition. While HPD were clearing the accident scene, traffic backed up on the opposite side of the freeway. A motorcycle rider approaching the stalled traffic was unable to stop in time and lost control of his motorbike before hitting a retaining wall. Two cars traveling behind the motorcycle then ran over the downed rider: one driver stopped and waited for police, the other kept going. The ambulance crashed happened around 2:30 a.m.

Suspected drunk driver fatally hits pedestrian on Westheimer Road

A suspected hit-and-run, drunk driver hit and killed a female pedestrian at Westheimer Rd. and Joel Wheaton Rd. last night. The woman was struck outside a shopping center around 9:30 p.m.; the driver fled the scene but his car broke down at Westheimer and Gentryside and he was arrested.  He will likely face a charge of intoxication manslaughter.

Fatal crash on Beltway 8 involving Global Waste Services dump truck: two killed

Houston news outlets are reporting a  four vehicle accident at a Beltway 8 toll plaza around 11:00 a.m. this morning. Two people were killed and several others injured when a Global Waste Services tractor pulling a dumpster trailer crashed into an extended cab pickup truck with four occupants, and then struck a gold-colored Honda occupied by a Precinct 4 Deputy Constable and his wife.  After striking the pickup and the gold Honda, the Global Waste Services truck then collided with another pickup truck waiting at the toll booths; the dump truck then hit a concrete retaining wall and burst into flames.

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Photo credit: Cliff Moore / Houston Chronicle

The driver of the Global Waste Services truck and the driver of the second pickup died at the scene.  The deputy constable, his wife and two of the four people in the extended cab pickup (the first vehicle that was hit) were transported to hospital. According to Channel 2 News Houston, the deputy constable’s wife’s injuries were serious and his injuries were relatively minor.

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Photo credit: Cliff Moore / Houston Chronicle

Per Channel 2’s report investigators “don’t know how the accident happened”, though from what has been reported so far it appears rather clear: the driver of the Global Waste Services truck for some reasons was unable to stop in time and plowed into traffic ahead of him.  A very interesting comment was posted on Channel 2’s web page by an apparent fact witness, who wrote the following:

I actually followed this dump truck from 45 and the beltway. He was swerving all over and actually hit a truck entering the on ramp. I started to call the police because he kept going. Before I realized the toll booth was right ahead and he was not stopping. I stopped about 100 yards behind him and just watch this scene unfold. I am still crying. The poor souls in the toll lane had no idea he was coming. It was a scene out of a movie and I watched as if I were in a theatre. There was a man in the middle of the street. There was debris and fire and glass and people running…it was absolutely insane. I am relieved I was behind him and knew to stay back. I pray for the families of the lives lost. I honestly believe the guy driving the dump truck had to have had some medical emergency.”

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Photo credit: Cliff Moore / Houston Chronicle

Forrest Wayne charged with sex assault of 13-year old he met at Westside Fitness Center

Police in Houston are actively looking for 41-year old fitness instructor Forrest Wayne, formerly employed at Westside Fitness Center, 1200 Wilcrest Drive, Houston. Wayne has been charged with sexual assault of a child. Police say Wayne, working as a fitness instructor at the time, “befriended” the 13-year old girl and used phone calls and text messages to develop a relationship with her.  Police say Wayne’s pursuit of the girl devolved into sexual encounters at the Memorial Inn & Suites located at 9535 Katy Freeway, Houston. The assaults took place between some time in July and October 10th, 2013. The victim is identified in documents filed in connection with Wayne’s criminal charges, but we choose not to identify the girl here to help preserve her privacy.

Westside Fitness Center sexual assault Forrest Wayne personal trainer

Forrest Wayne, age 41

Westside Fitness Center issued a statement to ABC Channel 13 News confirming HPD’s ongoing investigation of the matter, that they took “swift action” once they were alerted to the incident and that they declined further comment. ABC spoke to a few of Wayne’s neighbors at his apartment address, one of whom said they saw Wayne with a small suitcase some weeks ago, apparently preparing to leave. If you have information that would help the police catch up with Forrest Wayne, PLEASE call HPD at 713 731 5356.

As of this morning, Forrest Wayne’s bio is still on the Westside Fitness Center web site (see below). This case raises some serious concerns about how Wayne was able to lure this child away from the fitness center to a motel, and whether better supervision and monitoring of his activities could have prevented what happened.

Forrest Wayne charged with sexual assault of 13-year old girl

Forrest Wayne's bio page on Westside Fitness Center's web site

BNSF train hits pickup on Highway 6 in Santa Fe, TX

A pickup truck driver is lucky to be alive after his vehicle was struck this morning by a BNSF train on Highway 6 near FM 646 in Santa Fe, Texas, Galveston County. Channel 2’s brief report (which includes video) says the driver was hospitalized (no wonder looking at the pickup truck) and police and BNSF are investigating what happened.

BNSF train accident Santa Fe Texas Highway 6

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Girl at birthday party hit by suspected drunk driver who fled

A man was arrested after seriously injuring a young girl with his vehicle and fleeing the scene, according to Channel 11 News. Witness Cindy Flores told reporters the man lost control of his black-colored Nissan Altima, then struck the girl who was enjoying a birthday party in a driveway of a home in the 2100 block of Floral Street in Houston. The girl was thrown up onto the hood of the vehicle, and the driver took off. The girl’s father jumped in his truck and chased the Nissan, leading police to the driver who was stopped about a half-mile away. The girl was responsive when taken to the hospital, and suffered a broken leg and a gash on her head. The girl’s age is stated as 4-years old but also 6-years old in the Channel 11 story.

Houston personal injury attorney for drunk driving accident

RELATED LINKS: Houston personal injury attorney for drunk driving accident; Houston pedestrian accident attorney