Tammy Rhoades struck and killed by suspected drunk driver on I45 in Conroe

Tammy Rhoades was driving home from her birthday celebration last night (Sunday January 2, 2012) when she was struck and killed by a driver who was subsequently arrested and charged with intoxication manslaughter. Ms. Rhoades had apparently pulled over to offer help to a motorist who was stranded on I-45 near FM 3083. The stranded driver had got a flat tire in a construction zone in Conroe and was stopped in a moving lane of traffic: Tammy Rhoades pulled in behind him and turned on her emergency flashers. The third driver, 21-year old Tyler Shelton, then crashed into the rear of Ms. Rhoades’ vehicle with such force that the rear seat was crushed forward into the front seat. Shelton has been charged with intoxication manslaughter. Police advise any motorist who gets a flat in the Conroe construction area to keep driving on the bad wheel until they are able to pull over in an area away from the travel lanes. Tammy Rhoades was from Willis, Texas and had been celebrating her 45th birthday. Channel 13’s report did not indicate whether the driver in the first car with the flat tire was injured. The Houston Chronicle’s story on the deadly accident is here.

The Montgomery County Police Reporter provides a detailed account of the accident, including that Tammy Rhoades was driving a Pontiac Grand Am and that Tyler Shelton was driving a black colored Chevrolet pickup. Apparently after the collision Shelton fled the scene in his heavily damaged pickup. When interviewed by police Shelton offered the explanation that a fourth vehicle, a white colored pickup, struck Ms. Rhoades’ vehicle first forcing her car into his lane, at which time he was unable to stop and struck her vehicle himself.

It is a real tragedy that Ms. Rhoades’ act of kindness toward a stranger cost her life.

Tammy Rhoades of Willis, Texas died when her vehicle was rear-ended on I45 in Conroe. Ms. Rhoades had stopped to help this motorist change a flat tire in a construction zone.

Tammy Rhoades' Pontiac Grand Am sustained massive damage in the January 2, 2012 collision