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January 2017 Archives

Drunk Driving and the Holiday Season

It is 2017 and the holidays are behind us. The Christmas spirit leaving the air is not a fact that most people would celebrate. However, holidays are hazardous to a person's health. The six holidays with the most motor vehicle fatalities in 2015, as reported by Texas DPS in order from greatest to least, were Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, Christmas, and the New Year.

Nineteen Year Old Woman Dies in Construction Accident in Bexar County

A 19 year-old woman died Monday, January 24, while working at a construction site in Bexar County, Texas. The accident happened along Potranco Road near Texas Research Parkway. Destiny Rodriguez was at the bottom of a fifteen foot hole when a backhoe operator dropped the digger into the hole, hitting and crushing her. She died at the scene. Rodriguez's brother was also working with her at the bottom of the hole, but he had just climbed out to get another pipe when Rodriguez was killed.

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Apple for Failing to Prevent Distracted Driving

A California man has instituted a class action lawsuit against Apple for failing to implement an iPhone safety feature that would prevent people from texting while driving. The complaint was filed by Julio Ceja, a California resident who says that he was stopped at a traffic light when he was rear-ended by a distracted driver. Ceja claims that, immediately prior to the collision, he looked in his rearview mirror and saw the other driver using her phone instead of paying attention to the road in front of her.

Passenger Dies in Street Race

Less than a week before Christmas a car passenger died in Round Rock, Texas because a driver was racing. The collision occurred before 7 p.m. along Farm to Market 1325 near the intersection at Northridge Road. A Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson said a 22-year-old driver from Hutto, later identified as Hernan Martinez, was speeding in a Lexus before colliding into the Mercury Grand Marquis in which the woman was traveling.

Garbage Truck Collides with Vehicle Causing Huge Fire

A garbage truck collided with a passenger car resulting in a large fire that nearly shut down Loop 610 in Houston around 5:30 a.m. on Thursday morning. The crash, which occurred at the exit ramp of Ella Boulevard, caused a Waste Management truck to flip on its side. Authorities shut down most lanes of traffic for nearly five hours-causing traffic to back up for miles-until they were able to extinguish the fire and begin the work of cleaning up the highway. According to Houston firefighters that were on scene, both drivers were able to escape from their burning vehicles. The driver of a third vehicle involved in the crash, fled the scene of the accident and remains at large. It is unknown if any of the individuals involved were injured in the accident.

Fire Along Houston Ship Channel Demonstrates Dangers to Person and Property

A fire erupted at an oil storage facility mere yards away from an outlet to the Houston Ship Channel overnight last week. While details have yet to be released regarding any injuries, this incident highlights the additional dangers faced by both refinery workers and sea merchants in an oil-driven port such as the Houston Ship Channel. Due to the heavy presence of oil and gas companies in Houston, this incident is unlikely to be the last fire or other dangerous event along the channel.

Samsung to Blame Galaxy Note7 Explosions on Battery Size

After a months-long investigation into why its Galaxy Note7 smartphones have been exploding, Samsung is set to announce what it claims to be the answer: The size of the batteries.

Family Sues Facility After Woman Dies of Hypothermia

Kathryn Brackett, age 85, died of hypothermia outside Crystal Springs on October 27, 2016. Crystal Springs is a part of Meridian Senior Living, LLC. The family filed suit.

Parents of 5-Year-Old Girl Hold Apple, Inc. Responsible for Daughter's Death

A Texas family, who has been grieving the loss of their 5-year-old daughter, has filed a lawsuit against the technology company, Apple, in Santa Clara Superior Court, California. In their lawsuit, the family claims that Apple had the patent for a safer version of its "FaceTime" video calling application but chose to make a less safe version available with the iPhone 6. Ultimately and unfortunately, the family claims that the use of this FaceTime application led to death of their youngest daughter.

Wrongful Death at Schlitterbahn Water Park

Each summer, thousands of children attempt to fully utilize their break from school as a time to have fun and to enjoy the outdoors. Of course, that line of reasoning sends families across the country to water parks to enjoy the various rides that parks offer and spend family time together. Unfortunately, though, there are numerous dangers that water parks pose to visitors, one of which became all too real for a Kansas family on August 8, 2016.

Houston Metro Accident Kills Father of Two

On Tuesday around 6:30 pm, a Metro bus making a turn on Milam and Congress Street struck 36-year-old Michael Kenneth Unfried of Pasadena. Mr. Unfried died at the scene and is survived by his two children, ages 10 and 17. Prior to the incident, Mr. Unfried had been crossing the intersection, though it is still unclear whether he was on the crosswalk or not, when the bus turned and hit him. While the surveillance video of the incident is still being reviewed, it is believed Mr. Unfried was in the driver's blind spot. The father of two had a career in the computer field and worked for the county. There were no other reported injuries, as the bus wasn't carrying other passengers.

Victims of Distracted Driving Suing Tech Companies

The dangers of distracted driving are well-known and well-documented. According to www.cdc.gov, each day in the United States, over 8 people are killed and 1,161 are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. While distractions can come in many forms, cell phones are the top distraction.

4 Children Dead in Gas Poisoning

In Amarillo Texas, on the second day of 2017, four children died after being exposed to a poisonous gas. The father of the family tried to wash away a pesticide that had been sprayed under a Texas home that resulted in the deaths of their four children and left six other people hospitalized, officials said Monday.

Granite Slab Crushes Worker

Just a few days after Christmas, when the Christmas spirit was still in the air, Northwest Houston suffered a tragedy. On December 29, 2016, a granite slab fell and crushed a worker killing him instantly. This shocking loss occurred at Vivaldi Stone in Northwest Houston inside Beltway 8. Vivaldi Stone has thirteen locations across Texas and New Mexico.

Fire Burns on Oil Platform Off the Coast of Louisiana

Yesterday, four oil platform workers jumped off an oil production platform off the coast of Louisiana into the Gulf of Mexico in an attempt to flee an early morning fire that threatened to cause serious bodily injury. Luckily, the workers were quickly recovered from the water by a responding vessel. No injuries have been reported thus far, but it remains to be seen if these workers suffered any internal injuries from smoke inhalation or from the trauma of jumping into the water.

Two Crewmembers Lost at Sea in Exito Sinking

The United States Coast Guard called off the search for two missing crewmembers of the fishing vessel Exito in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, following several days of intense search operations involving multiple Coast Guard and good Samaritan vessels and aircraft. The missing crewmembers abandoned ship after the vessel began taking on water for an undetermined cause. The Exito was one of 25 vessels selected in 2004 for a $97 million federal buyout. As a part of the deal, the Exito was retired and barred from commercial fishing anywhere in the world. At the time of its sinking, the Exito was engaged in cargo or freight purposes. Three crewmembers were luckily rescued, but the two missing individuals are presumed lost at sea.

One Driver Injured, One Driver Arrested, and One Pedestrian Dead in Two More Houston Hit-and-Runs

A driver is in custody after a crash on I-45 North that occurred shortly after midnight on Wednesday. According to KHOU, witnesses say the car was driving erratically near North Shepherd and rear-ended a pickup truck, causing it to flip. The driver of the pickup was taken to the hospital and is reported to be in serious condition.

Families of Warehouse Fire Victims File Suit

The parents of 20-year-old Michela Gregory and 23-year-old Griffin Madden filed suit against the owner and operators of a converted warehouse that caught fire on December 2, 2016. Ms. Gregory and Mr. Madden died, along with several others.

The Dangers of Driving Tired

A new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has shown an increase in fatal car accidents, emphasizing the number of accidents related to sleep deprivation observed from about 4,571 crashes. A staggering 21 percent of all crashes involve at least one driver without the recommended 7 hours of sleep. About 35 percent of people get less than 7 hours of sleep, with each hour less contributing to the raised likelihood of a crash. For example, the study showed that there was a spike of 11.5 percent for anyone who had gotten less than 4 hours of sleep. It is speculated that about 4 hours of sleep or less is equivalent to a blood alcohol content level of about .12-.15. The legal driving limit is .08.

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