Recently, the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office reported that more than 750 people were arrested on various drunk driving charges between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day, a period it calls the "100 Deadliest Days of Summer."
A cyclist was killed earlier this week in a hit-and-run collision. It occurred near 10:00 o'clock p.m. on Monday night in the 11,900 block of Veterans Memorial. The man riding the bike was on the shoulder. According to information from the Harris County Sheriff's Office, a vehicle swerved into the shoulder and hit the bike. The rider, apparently between about 55 and 65 years old, was rushed to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead. The driver of the car fled the scene. The car was said by witnesses to be a small four-door. The vehicle may have been a Dodge Neon, and authorities have suspicion that the driver was intoxicated.
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.
Fatalities caused by drivers in traffic collisions, crashes, and other incidents have risen to a rate not seen in fifty years. Estimates from the National Safety Council reveal deadly crashes rose by nearly eight percent in 2015, claiming the lives of roughly 38,000 people. However, many groups, which include federal officials and state and local leaders, do not want these incidents referred to as "accidents" anymore. These groups feel the word trivializes the most common cause of traffic collisions: human error.
Sunday morning New Caney, Texas mourned the loss of seventeen-year-old Jose Damien who was struck by a drunk driver while helping his family change a flat tire. According to the victim's family, the driver veered towards the family's truck, smashed into it, and killed the New Caney ISD student. The driver, who has been identified as Charles Baxter, has been charged with intoxication manslaughter. Baxter is not only facing jail time, but also a potential lawsuit for the family's loss of their loved one.
Teenagers who have been drinking and subsequently decide to drive can pose a major threat to other drivers and themselves. Due to summer break, teens have extra time for fun activities and have more time on their hands than during the school semesters.
A recent article in the Houston Chronicle describes efforts made by the Houston Police Department to educate people about wrong-way driving accidents. Although such car accidents are relatively infrequent, they often result in catastrophic injury or death when they do occur. This is especially true on freeways and ramps, where speeds are likely to be much higher than on city streets.
Among the thirteen opinions released by the Texas Supreme Court last Thursday was Brown & Gay Engineering, Inc. v. Olivares, in which the Court held that Texas government contractors who exercise independent discretion in their work are not entitled to the same sovereign immunity as the government itself. This opinion stopped what could have been a broad expansion of the sovereign immunity doctrine.
According to various news accounts, the driver of a vehicle involved in a fatal crash three days ago was arrested and charged with intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault.