October 2012 Archives

One dead, five injured when suspected drunk driver plows into backyard Halloween party

October 31, 2012

898145_slow_shutter.jpgOn Tuesday, one person was killed and five others were injured when a suspected drunk driver ran off the road and crashed into a group of people attending a backyard Halloween party. It happened in Houston, Texas: television station KRTK reports that a Chevrolet Camero ran a stop sign at a three way intersection, left the roadway, jumped a steep ditch and drove through a wooden fence into a private backyard, where the party was underway.

38 year-old Ana Sylvia Borjas was pronounced dead at the scene. Five other partygoers sustained various injuries when they were struck by the vehicle: two were airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital; one was taken by ambulance; and one - a four year old girl, who was thrown from the arms of one of the other victims - sustained minor injuries.

Meanwhile, as uninjured partygoers ran to assist those who had been struck, the driver of the Camero fled the scene on foot. Following the crash, the son of the Camero's owner contacted police to report the vehicle stolen: however, when officers questioned the man, he eventually admitted that he had loaned the vehicle to a friend. Law enforcement officials continue to search for the driver, 20 year-old Johnathan Hudson, who has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing injury.

Harris County deputies suspect that Hudson may have been under the influence of alcohol. "There (are) signs that alcohol was a factor in the crash," said Sergeant Susan Cotter told television station KHOU. "The vehicle smells like alcohol."

Sadly, drunk driving accidents cause serious, life-threatening injuries throughout all year round. However, given the festivities and pedestrian traffic associated with Halloween, impaired drivers can be especially deadly at this time of year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) reports that in 2010, 41% of U.S. highway fatalities involved drivers with a blood alcohol content above the legal limit (0.08%).

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Missouri man pleads guilty to felony hit and run for crash that killed STL tow truck driver

October 23, 2012

file000994196738.jpgOn Monday, a Missouri man pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an injury crash in connection with a St. Louis accident that killed a tow truck driver. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 21 year-old Aaron Bogue will appear in court for sentencing on December 7.

Police say Bogue struck and killed 51 year-old David Bense Sr. on Interstate 70 near West Florissant Avenue. Bense, a tow truck driver for AAA, had stopped on the shoulder of I-70 to assist a motorist on his last call of the night. At about 9:20 p.m., Bense was putting cones and flares around a disabled vehicle on the highway when he was hit by an eastbound motorist. The vehicle - a white sedan - did not stop after the collision. However, another driver who witnessed the crash followed the sedan and contacted police.

Ultimately, law enforcement officials located Bogue near the intersection of 11th Street and Salisbury Street. His vehicle was seriously damaged and Bense's blood was found on it. At the time of his arrest, Bogue told officers that he thought he had hit an animal on the interstate.

Authorities say Bogue has an extended criminal record, including convictions for burglary, property damage and drug possession. In addition, the Post-Dispatch reports that Bogue has a pending St. Louis County charge for fraudulent use of a credit card.

Leaving the scene of an accident causing injury carries a minimum penalty of one day in jail and a maximum penalty of four years behind bars. Bense's wife and other family members recently met with prosecutors, as the family was unhappy that Bogue hadn't been charged with more serious offenses. After his arrest, Bogue was tested for drugs and alcohol, but the results were reportedly inconclusive.

"Over the past several months, a thorough investigation was conducted and we exhausted every possible scenario to ensure Aaron Bogue was charged with the highest charge under Missouri state law and held accountable to the fullest extent of the law, given the circumstances and evidence available in this matter," the prosecuting attorney's office said in a recent statement.

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St. Louis man, repeat DWI offender, charged with murder in hit-and-run crash that killed boy, 4

October 9, 2012

file0002112653337.jpgThis week, a St. Louis man was charged with hit and run, assault and second degree murder in connection with an accident that killed a 4 year-old boy. And according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the suspect has an extended history of drunk driving offenses.

The accident happened on October 5. At about 7:30 in the evening, a pickup struck two young boys as they attempted to cross the 7300 block of St. Charles Rock Road. Traye-shon Williams, 4, was pronounced dead at the scene. His brother, 10 year-old Jayshard Conner, was taken by ambulance to St. Louis Children's Hospital. He sustained multiple broken bones, but he was released from the hospital on Tuesday.

Police immediately began searching for the driver. On Sunday, they received an anonymous tip that directed them to 54 year-old Ricky Weeden's home. There, officers located a Chevrolet Silverado, and an eyewitness to the crash identified the vehicle as the one that struck the boys. Later in the day, Weedin was arrested and charged with one count of leaving the scene of a fatal accident. However, those charges were later upgraded after investigators learned more about Weeden's criminal history.

Some details about Weeden's past are still not known. However, law enforcement officials have released the following details:

• In 1983, Weeden caused a crash on Goodfellow Boulevard that left two people dead and two others injured. He was arrested for manslaughter, assault and careless and imprudent driving. Ultimately, he was only charged with the C&I and only paid $50 in bail.

• In 1993, Weeden's driver's license was revoked when he refused to submit to a breathalyzer test. His license was never reinstated.

• Since losing his license, Weeden has been cited numerous times for speeding, failing to stop at stop signs, and driving without a license. He has also been convicted of drunk driving at least six times. Two of his convictions were felonies for being a persistent DWI offender.

Authorities have been unable to explain why Weeden was sometimes charged with a misdemeanor and sometimes with a felony when he was arrested for drunk driving.

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Semi truck driver charged after wrong-way chase

October 2, 2012

751630_do_not_enter_sign.jpgOn Monday, an 18 year-old semi-tractor driver was arrested leading officers on a dangerous chase and driving the wrong direction on Highway 65 for approximately 20 miles. KY3 reports that Jesse DeJongh is facing a felony charge of assaulting a law enforcement officer for allegedly attempting to strike a Christian County deputy with his semi.

On Sunday evening, employees at Hood's Truck Stop called the Greene County Sheriff's Department to report a truck driving off without paying a $710 diesel fuel tab. As the vehicle left Hood's, a friend of the owner followed it, and the semi driver eventually stopped in a parking lot. The two men spoke and the semi driver promised to return to the truck stop and pay for the fuel.

However, that didn't happen. Around 10:00 p.m., Springfield Police Department officers attempted to stop DeJongh's truck at I-44 and Highway 65, but the semi continued on to southbound U.S. 65 at high speeds. At Evans Road, the driver went up on the overpass and then traveled back down the northbound onramp. He then drove south in the northbound lanes for about 20 miles, until the truck had passed through Ozark. At some points, he turned his headlights off, making himself invisible to unsuspecting northbound drivers on the highway.

"They (oncoming drivers) pulled over because of lights on emergency vehicles," Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper Ivey Warren said. "They didn't see him (truck). They would've been hit had they not seen the emergency vehicles."

Motorist Charles Sullivan agreed. He was able to pull out of the truck's path - just barely - because of a highway patrolman's lights. "Within 14 inches of hitting us. If it hasn't been for that police officer pulling us to the side, I wouldn't be here talking to you people," Sullivan told KY3.

Law enforcement officials threw down spike strips twice in an attempt to stop the semi. Under the Highway EE overpass, the driver reportedly attempted to strike the Christian County deputy in the median, missing him by an estimated five to 10 feet. The semi finally ran off the road and down an embankment near Highway BB. The driver fled the scene, but authorities identified him as DeJongh and immediately began to search for him. Christian County deputies arrested DeJongh at around 4:00 a.m. Monday, after he used his cell phone in a public park.

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