Child passengers, driver of SUV injured in dump truck accident

Child passengers, driver of SUV injured in dump truck accident

Two child passengers and the driver of an SUV involved in an accident with two dump trucks remain in the intensive care units of two hospitals after sustaining serious injuries in the crash May 10, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Trooper Stephanie Davis reported. 

DPS received a report of a multiple vehicle crash on Highway 124 near Fannett in Jefferson County at approximately 7:45 a.m. Responding troopers learned that a Peterbilt dump truck was traveling southbound on Highway 124 followed by a passenger vehicle and a Freightliner dump truck. A 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe was traveling northbound on Highway 124. As the Tahoe passed the Peterbilt dump truck, two rear tires that came off the dump truck, striking the SUV. The impact caused the driver of the Tahoe to spin and cross into the southbound traffic lane. According to Davis, the second dump truck, the Freightliner, slowed down and moved to the shoulder of the roadway but was unable to avoid colliding with the Tahoe. After the Freightliner struck the Tahoe, it continued off the roadway and into the woods where it struck several trees before catching fire.

The driver of the Chevrolet Tahoe, 32-year-old Enola Walker of Beaumont, was transported to St. Elizabeth hospital with serious injuries. At the time of the news release, Walker was in the Intensive Care Unit. All four (4) occupants of the Chevrolet were minor children under the age of 12. Two of the children were transported to a local hospital and have since been treated and released. The other two children were flown by medical helicopter from Baytown to Hermann Memorial Hospital in Houston with serious injuries. Both children have been placed in the Intensive Care Unit and were listed in stable condition May 10.

The driver of the Peterbilt, Manuel Rodriguez, 57, of Beaumont, was not injured in the crash.

The driver of the Freightliner, Darrell Lee, 49, of Beaumont, managed to get out of his vehicle before it caught fire and did not sustain any injuries in the crash.

During a preliminary inspection of the Peterbilt dump truck, Davis reports, it appeared to investigators that an equipment malfunction caused the rear axle and tires to become dislodged from the vehicle. The investigation is ongoing.