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Posts published in “Day: July 11, 2019

Divers recover body of driver of semi that plunged off I-10 into the River

THE FRAME AND CAB OF THE SEMI truck that plunged into the San Jacinto River last Thursday, June 26 are lifted by a crane on a work barge on Saturday morning. The barge came from T&T Salvage in Galveston, and was required because the bridge and the nearby Waste Pits Superfund site were not suitable for this type of heavy lifting. (Photo by Harris County Sheriff’s Department)

EAST HARRIS COUNTY – For the third time in the last two months, a vehicle has plunged over the side of a highway bridge, and the occupant was killed.

The most recent event occurred Wednesday, July 3 on the I-610 East Loop bridge over the Houston Ship Channel. Authorities reported that an 18-wheeler swerved to miss a car that had cut in front of him, and crashed through the railing and fell 150 to land on the buildings below. Emergency responders attempted to remove the driver from the wreckage, but he was pinned upside down and died at the scene. The driver of the truck was not immediately identified. His rig landed on top of some industrial buildings of Huntsman Chemical Company. They said that no plant employees were injured, but that operations were stopped due to a sanitary sewer line that was severed and leaking. Some traffic lanes on the bridge were closed, as TxDOT studied how to repair the railing.

This fatal accident followed by only a week a similar accident on the I-10 bridge over the San Jacinto River, when an 18-wheeler struck a stopped car and then plummeted over the rail and into the river.

Local water bills are increasing

NORTHEAST HARRIS COUNTY – San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) is increasing groundwater and surface water rates, according to its press release.

It is the first time in 16 years that it is increased and over a decade since the Texas Legislature enacted the 3-2-1 Act that relates to subsidence and using thee tons to one of surface water to subsurface water.

The wholesale water sales entity with a facility in Highlands attributes some of the increase to groundwater conservation rules from the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District ( in Montgomery County) (LSGCD) not being clearly defined. Uncollected funds and to finance a new surface water treatment plant are other factors for increase noted in the press release.

The rate adjustment is after the Texas Water Development Board voted down a LSGCD’s proposed groundwater management plan for Montgomery County back in May, requiring the LSGCD to submit a new management plan and standards.

Last month water rates increased slightly in Crosby Municipal Utility District and just about all other water sellers with notation that the increase must be funded for Crosby to continue purchasing the water.

Boat crashes into bulkhead, one dead

MOTORBOAT with front end mangled.

CHANNELVIEW – Authorities were able to end their search for a missing boater Tuesday morning, when they discovered the body of a man thought to be Luis Gonzalez, 33.

Sunday night about 7:30 pm a motorboat traveling at a high rate of speed on the San Jacinto River, near Rio Villa, crashed into a bulkhead, crumpling the boat and seriously injuring two people on the boat, with the third person thrown overboard and declared missing.

Authorities reported that Galan Ruiz was transported by LifeFlight to a hospital with severe leg injuries, and Michelle Huff was transported to a hospital with lacerations, a broken leg, and internal injuries.

Sheriff’s Deputies and Texas Parks and Wildlife deputies said that the boat had a number of beer cans inside and nearby in the water.

Outing turns deadly in Huffman

Investigators collect evidence until late in the evening on an apparent murder-suicide.

HUFFMAN – From wheeling about the San Jacinto River to an apparent murder-suicide is a tragic turn for two neighbors and friends here June 30.

Two men were dead after an argument around 3:00 a.m. according to deputies called to Ideloch Subdivision concerning a shooting in progress.

When deputies arrived they found Austin Smith, 27, lying in his driveway, dead of an apparent gunshot wound. His pickup and an ATV were parked at the end of his driveway. Witness testimony indicated that Smith and his girlfriend had gone with neighbor, Coby Rigsby, 32, and his girlfriend “Mudding” in their trucks and off-road vehicles.

Statements indicate an argument between Rigsby and his girlfriend became heated and was interrupted by Smith but that Rigsby took offense at Smith’s interdiction and a fight began between the two men in Rigsby’s lawn.