Archive for the ‘Drunk driving accidents’ Category

HPD Officer Nestor Garcia struck by suspected drunk driver

Please pray for 24-year old Houston Police Department Officer Nestor Garcia who was struck and seriously injured by an SUV last night on US 59 southbound at Dunlavy.

Officer Garcia, a rookie with less than 1-year on-the-job with HPD, was participating in a felony stop of a suspected stolen vehicle, when a white Toyota Highlander driven by a 79-year old male plowed through the scene at about 60 MPH. Officer Garcia sustained a head injury, abdominal injuries and some fractures and was listed in critical condition. The 79-year old driver was arrested and is expected to be charged with intoxication assault of a peace officer. Officer Garcia is not married; media reports say his family were with him at the hospital.

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The Toyota SUV that struck Officer Garcia

Update: the 79-year old driver has been publicly identified as Robert Zimmerman. Channel 13 interviewed Zimmerman’s neighbors and business associates, who report he used to work in real estate investing and is semi-retired. Zimmerman does not have a criminal record.

HPD officer pulls over drunk, hit by another drunk

Last night a Houston Police Department patrol officer had pulled over a suspected drunk driver and was conducting an investigation when the officer’s patrol car was smashed by a second suspected drunk driver. This is not a rare occurrence in Houston, and for some reason rather than emergency lights serving as a warning to drunk drivers, the lights seem to draw them in like moths to a flame. The crash happened on Houston’s North Loop (coincidentally Smith & Hassler’s office is on the North Loop). The officer and suspected drunk driver #1 were reported to be uninjured thankfully, and ABC Channel 13 has video of both drivers being sobriety tested.

If you’ve been hurt by a drunk driver, in Houston or anywhere else, give us a call and we’d be glad to explain what your legal options are.

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Fatal car accident on Almeda Road, vehicle pushed into Rodeo bus

One person is dead after a car accident on Almeda Road and Reed Road at 11:30 p.m. last night. A black-colored Chevrolet Avalanche pickup truck crashed into the rear of a silver colored sports car, possibly a Nissan 370ZX. Law enforcement told the media that the pickup was traveling at a very high rate of speed; the impact propelled the sports car forward into the front bumper of a Houston Rodeo bus that was parked and unoccupied at the time. The driver of the pickup appeared disoriented after the crash to bystanders who rendered aid, and there will be an investigation to determine if alcohol played a role. The driver of the Nissan died at the scene.

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The crash victim’s vehicle

Motorcyclist killed in crash with Mercedes G Wagon in Tomball

An early Sunday morning crash in Tomball claimed the life of a motorcyclist when a woman driving a Mercedes G Wagon SUV pulled in front of the biker.

HCSO lists the time of the crash as around 2:00 a.m. The woman’s SUV was traveling eastbound on Spring Cypress Road near Highway 249 when she commenced a left turn in the path of the westbound motorcycle. The motorbike struck the passenger side rear door of the Mercedes causing extensive damage. The motorcyclist died at the scene.

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Damage to the Mercedes SUV

KHOU’s news story indicates that HCSO believe alcohol was a factor in the crash for the woman driving the Mercedes. If she is determined to have been legally intoxicated at the time of the collision she could face a charge of intoxication manslaughter.

HPD Officer James Combs charged in death of Brian Manring

Houston Police Department Officer James Combs remains jailed on a charge of intoxication manslaughter after a head-on collision claimed the life of single father Brian Manring.

Investigators say that Combs’ blood alcohol content was more that twice the legal limit when he crossed the center line on Beechnut in Fort Bend County and his white Chevy Tahoe SUV struck Manring’s silver Corvette. The crash happened around 6:30 a.m. on Friday August 12th. After the crash Combs refused to take a field sobriety test. Combs’ blood was later drawn at a hospital and his BAC was reported to be 0.17. In Texas a person is legally intoxicated in they operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 or greater.

Brian Manring’s Facebook page is populated with pictures of his young daughter. How sad that this little girl is now forever without her Dad.

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Brian Manring’s wrecked Corvette



Three hurt in rollover accident on Hollydale Drive in Houston

ABC Channel 13 has reported a crash late last night that injured three men. It was a single vehicle accident on Hollydale Drive in Houston. The report is that the vehicle, which appears to be a white-colored Buick crossover, was traveling at considerable speed when a change in the road surface caused a loss of control; the vehicle then struck two parked cars and flipped over. The driver was ejected from the vehicle and is in critical condition, the two passenger were transported to the hospital for treatment. Harris County Sheriff’s Office investigators are looking into whether alcohol-impairment was a factor in the crash.

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Arnesia Washington charged with murder for motorcycle accident

30-year old Arnesia Washington has been charged with murder after a multi-vehicle accident this weekend that claimed the life of a motorcyclist. Channel 13 reports that Washington was driving on the 610 West Loop in Houston with two young children as her passengers around noon Saturday when she rear-ended the motorcycle. At the time she was being followed by two other motorists whose vehicles she has previously struck in two separate hit-and-run accidents.

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Washington appearing in court

Reportedly Washington also attempted to flee the scene after striking the motorcyclist but was blocked-in by the vehicles that were following her. Washington has previously been charged in Harris County with possession of a controlled substance, and is believed to have been under the influence of hydrocodone, a prescription painkiller, at the time of the fatal crash. Blood results are pending. Normally this type of accident (which is all too common in Houston) would be charged as intoxication manslaughter, but Washington has been charged with felony murder because she had the young children in her vehicle.

The deceased motorcyclist has been identified as Steven Rudoff who is from Sugar Land. Mr. Rudoff leaves a wife and three children.

Fatal crash on Hiram Clarke involving suspected drunk driver

One driver is dead and another is possibly facing failure to stop and render aid and intoxication manslaughter charges after a crash on Hiram Clarke near Orem at 2:00 this morning. KHOU reports that a gray-colored Infiniti was traveling around 80 MPH southbound on Hiram Clarke when it rear-ended a white-colored Pontiac Sunfire that may have been turning at the time. The Pontiac was struck so hard that the driver was thrown out of the vehicle through the rear window. The Infiniti traveled about a block before coming to a stop due to mechanical failure.

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Houston Accident Illustrates Dangers of Drinking and Driving

Houston auto accident attorneySome of the most heartbreaking cases we handle involve victims of drunk drivers. One person’s decision to drive under the influence can quickly turn into a tragedy that can ripple across many lives. It not only affects the victim who is injured or killed in an accident caused by an impaired driver. The negligent driver’s behavior has a profound impact on the families and friends who lost someone they loved.


In an April 19 story covered by Click2Houston, we read about a man who was charged with intoxicated manslaughter after he allegedly struck a victim who was standing next to a vehicle on the Southwest Freeway in Houston.

According to the news report, police said the victim got out of his car after he struck a disabled vehicle that was stopped in a moving traffic lane.  As the victim was standing next to the driver side door of the disabled vehicle, he was hit by a car driven by a man who police allege was drunk. According to Click2Houston, police said the driver allegedly first struck the victim’s vehicle and then hit the victim who was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

Harris County Drunk Driving Accidents Are Common

Back in 2009, a report in the Houston Chronicle stated that Harris County leads the nation in drunk driving fatalities among the most populous counties.

Since then, law enforcement has stepped up efforts to keep impaired drivers off the road. The district attorney’s office started a no-refusal policy that forced drivers suspected of being drunk to submit to a breathalyzer or blood test.

Unfortunately, tragic accidents involving impaired drivers continue to be a problem in Harris County, as the crash on Southwest Freeway illustrates. While that accident remains under investigation, generally speaking a drunk driving case may lead to serious criminal charges – and, separately, a civil lawsuit if someone is injured or killed. Our attorneys have extensive experience representing clients who need to pursue compensation for their losses in drunk driving cases.  While we applaud the efforts of law enforcement in bringing the drunk driver to justice, we also know that criminal cases alone won’t necessarily pay for all of the related losses.

In many cases, the only recourse a victim has to recover damages for medical bills, lost wages and damage property is to hire a lawyer and file a civil action. In some cases, we have been able to secure compensation for non-economic losses, including pain and suffering. And because the drunk driver’s actions were particularly reckless, we may seek damages to punish that person. These are known as punitive damages.

While negligence in a drunk driving accident might seem clear, securing full compensation from the insurance company can be a difficult process. That’s why it’s critical for victims and families who lost loved ones to consult with experienced attorneys promptly after the accident. Our law firm knows how to gather evidence and conduct thorough investigations that produce the results clients need. Call Smith & Hassler today at (877) 777-1529 for a free consultation.

Red light runner charged after Montrose crash

There was a three vehicle crash in the Montrose area of Houston at 2:30 this morning, and one of the drivers is facing several charges, including a likely DWI charge. The crash was at Montrose and Westheimer. A westbound Infiniti sedan ran a red light where it was struck by a southbound silver-colored Toyota Corolla. The Infiniti then struck an SUV that was stopped at the light. The driver of the Infiniti jumped out and tried to make a run for it but was restrained by bystanders until the police arrived. This will likely prove to be a costly mistake for that driver.

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Scene of the Montrose crash this morning