Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Day: March 13, 2003”

Highlands’ Deacon Tittel named Harris County Firefighter of the Year

BY BOBBY HORN JR.

HIGHLANDS– It has been said that the backbone of any community is its volunteers; those men and women who give of their time and talents to make their community a better place to live and work.
Recently, a long-time Highlands volunteer was recognized for his efforts in providing for the public safety of not only Highlands but wherever he was needed in east Harris County.

On Feb. 19, Highlands Volunteer Fire Fighter Deacon Tittel was named Harris County Fire Fighter of the Year. Tittel, who has served as a paid Fire Fighter with the City of Bellaire for the past three years, said that this award is given out each year to the top Fire Fighter, either volunteer or paid, in the county.

Tittel said that he was especially honored by the award in that he was nominated not by the Highlands VFD but by the Channelview VFD. This is the first time, he added, that the award was given to someone who was nominated by a department other than their own.

Over the past years, Tittel has worked with the Channelview VFD as well as others as he was needed. “I’ll help anyone who needs it,” he said.

Tittel has served as a volunteer for the Highlands VFD for the past 10 years, following a family tradition. His father, Sam, has served with the Highlands VFD for the 17 years and his mother also volunteered with the department.

Growing up around the fire department, Deacon said that it was only natural for him to follow in his father’s footsteps. “If it wasn’t for my dad, I don’t know what road my life would have taken.”

Deacon is not the first person from Highlands to win the county’s Fire Fighter of the Year Award. Fellow HVFD volunteer Joe Sibery has also been honored.

Search continues for man missing in San Jacinto River

By LEWIS SPEARMAN

LYNCHBURG BRIDGE – Harris County Sheriff’s Deputies spent much of the day Tuesday searching for a man in the waters under the I-10 bridge near Highlands.

A witness called the Harris County Sheriff’s Department at about 9:00 a.m. on March 11 to report that a man has apparently gone down into the water under the Interstate 10 Bridge aboard a truck.

Upon arrival at the scene, deputies were told by a man (identified only as living under the bridge) that another man was busy stripping parts from inside an abandoned 1986 Ford F-150 truck when the truck was heard splashing into the water.

The man described the other man as having left his identification and worldly belongings outside the truck as he began to take parts from the truck for re-sale. The witness said he had left the man busy at his work and leaving the immediate area to go to sleep. He reports he heard the splash, saw the truck going down and called out to the man but got no answer.

The witness specifically says he did not see the man go into the water inside the truck, but that when last seen the man was inside the truck. The man never was heard from again.

The witness says he went to JR’s Liquor Store to tell the clerk to call 911 but the clerk didn’t comply. The witness describes then going back to the scene an again searching for the man but didn’t find anything but a state identification card and a birth certificate.

The following day, Sheriff’s Marine dive teams found the truck under the water, other deputies had found identification left on land but no body in the water. Investigation continued into the night as deputies employed a Sonar Search of the area.

Marine Division personnel at the scene described the current as having been coming into land since the apparent crash into the water and expressed the belief that if a body was under the water the team could pinpoint to a 10 foot radius where the body would be located.

“There’s a 50/50 chance that their could be a body down there,” said a deputy.

Other sources say that there is some details that do not add up exactly as described. The identification card does not show the same name as the birth certificate. The description of the man does not match the picture on the card. Other sources say there is no evidence that a man was ever inside the vehicle.

As of press time no body was recovered.

Harris County Sheriff’s Marine Division Dive Team use sophisticated sonar equipment (deputy holding tube in photo) to search for an underwater body after the roll-in accident in the San Jacinto River. This team recently used the same equipment at Toledo Bend, and located 18 pieces from the NASA space shuttle Columbia.