Archive for April, 2014

Georgia Pacific plant explosion in Corrigan, Texas – at least 9 injured

At least nine people were taken to hospital Saturday evening, some of them by life flight helicopter, after an explosion at the Georgia Pacific plant in Corrigan, Texas. The explosion happened around 6:15 p.m. and was followed by a fire that took fire crews about an hour to bring under control. Corrigan Police Chief Darrell Gibson said several of the victims were severely burned; five were transported by helicopter. Georgia Pacific is based in Atlanta, GA and manufactures paper products including household names such as Dixie cups and Brawny paper towels.

Channel 11’s report says the plant manufactures plywood, and that firefighters said the apparent cause of the incident was a problem with the plants sawdust collection system. The East Texas town of Corrigan is in Polk County, Texas and has a population around 1,600.

Media coverage of the Georgia Pacific plant explosion: Channel 2 Houston

Kids hit by car near Morton Ranch High School in Katy Texas

A 12-year old and 13-year old were transported to the hospital after they were hit by a car on Raintree Village and Morton near Morton Ranch High School this morning. One youngster hit the windshield of the vehicle according to Channel 2’s report, the other was grazed by the vehicle.

Smith & Hassler: Houston personal injury attorneys for auto-pedestrian accidents

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Photo credit: Channel 2 News

Boy killed in distracted trucker accident on Highway 290 in Houston

A young boy was tragically killed and his sister seriously injured when an 18-wheeler trucker distracted by something in his cab failed to slow down and struck the back of a family’s vehicle. The crash happened early evening, Friday April 19th on Highway 290 near Mason Road. Channel 2’s story quotes Texas DPS investigators as saying the trucker was looking down at his cell phone at the time of the collision. By the time the driver looked up he had already rear-ended a silver-colored Kia Optima sedan, driven by the boy’s 40-year old mother. Also in the car were the boy, believed to be around 9-years old, and his younger sister. The impact to the Kia was so severe the back bumper of the Kia was pushed forward to the back of the car’s front seat. The Kia was pushed forward, striking a Ford F150 pickup, which then hit a fourth vehicle, a Toyota Camry. The occupants of the other vehicles were injured and transported to hospital.

What a terrible, avoidable tragedy. This family has been forever changed due to something totally preventable: distracted driving.

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Driver of the 18-wheeler

A life flight helicopter transported the mother and daughter from the Kia to Memorial Hermann Hospital; the mother is expected to survive, the daughter was taken into surgery for a skull fracture. The boy in the Kia died at the scene.

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Officials inspect the silver Kia Optima

KHOU’s coverage of the accident is here.

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DPS Trooper Richard Standifer is interviewed

ABC Channel 13 News’ coverage of the accident is here.

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Scene of last nigh's fatal crash on Highway 290

The Houston Chronicle’s coverage is here.

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The F150 pickup involved in the accident

4-year old fatally struck by pickup on Theissetta Drive in Spring, TX

Tragedy struck today in northwest Harris County when a 4-year old boy was fatally struck by a vehicle in the 7700 block on Theissetta Drive in Spring, according to KHOU.  The accident happened shortly before noon today, and appears to have involved an orange-colored extended cab pickup truck that was photographs from KHOU’s news helicopter. Channel 2’s report indicates the accident happened when a vehicle was backing out of a driveway, and that the incident occurred on Chapel Pines Drive. Channel 13’s report is here.

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Photo credit: KHOU

Houston personal injury attorneys Smith & Hassler

Photo credit: KHOU

Drunk 18 wheeler driver causes fatal accident on Beechnut Street in Houston

Police say a drunken 18-wheeler driver is responsible for a fatal accident just before 11:00 p.m. Sunday night. Police say the big rig was heading westbound on Beechnut Street and made a left turn onto Cook Road while the light was red. A Chevrolet Tahoe SUV that was heading through the intersection collided with the 18-wheeler; the male driver in his 40’s or 50’s was rushed to the hospital where he later died. The truck driver now faces an intoxication manslaughter charge. Channel 2’s story is here. KHOU’s story is here.

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The driver of this Chevy Tahoe died due to injuries sustained in the wreck

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Willie James Johnson's 18 wheeler

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Police say Johnson turned left when the turn arrow was red

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Willie James Johnson

Gabe Rojas, Jartis Soloman hit by out-of-control car, recovering in Houston hospital

11-year old Gabe Rojas and his best friend Jartis Soloman were seriously injured when they were struck by an out-of-control car as the two boys played basketball in the Rojas family’s driveway. Gabe suffered a badly broken leg and was pinned under the car for several minutes after being dragged into the neighbor’s yard. Jartis suffered a broken wrist. Both boys play little league baseball for the Texas Bombers, and were visited by their coach and teammates at Memorial Hermann Hospital on Friday; the accident happened Wednesday. Team coach David Trevino has set up a fund to help the family pay the boys’ medical expenses. Investigators say the driver of the car was a teenager who lost control of the vehicle.


Recovering damages for an auto-pedestrian accident | Getting your medical bills paid after a car accident

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Scene of Wednesday's accident

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Jartis Soloman (L) and Gabe Rojas (R) recover in hospital

Pedestrian hit, killed by pickup truck on Wallisville Road

A pedestrian was stuck and killed on Wallisville Road near Sheldon Road in northeast Harris County this morning. A photograph from KHOU’s web site shows a white-colored full-size pickup truck that appears to have skidded off the roadway.  Channel 2’s report on the same incident states the pickup driver was being detained by police (thought it does not say why).

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Photo credit: KHOU

Man killed in accident involving USPS 18 wheeler

A 61-year old man driving an SUV was killed in a two-vehicle accident yesterday afternoon. According to the account witness Elizabeth Summerlin gave Channel 2 News Houston, the man’s SUV lost control after clipping the back of a United States Postal Service 18-wheeler, causing the SUV to lose control and flip onto its side. The SUV became wedged between the 18-wheeler and the concrete retaining wall, and the SUV became engulfed in flame. Good Samaritans stopped their vehicle, some using fire extinguishers, and tried to rescue the SUV driver. Unfortunately the man was unable to escape the burning SUV and he died at the scene. The crash happened on Houston’s Southwest Freeway near the Chimney Rock exit at around 3:00 p.m.

Update 1: the deceased SUV driver has been identified as Dan Winfrey. Mr. Winfrey’s sister Donna Griffin was interviewed by KHOU, stating her brother was on his way to collect his girlfriend from her workplace when the accident happened. Ms. Griffin told KHOU her brother was unfamiliar with the area and was using his cellphone to ask his girlfriend what exit he should take; reportedly Mr. Winfrey exclaimed “Oh God” and the phone went dead.

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