Driver who Killed Motorist had Drugs in his System

Pieper, Landon Wade

Landon Wade Pieper, 21, of 6 Jewelsford in The Woodlands has been booked into the Montgomery County Jail on Intoxication Manslaughter charges stemming from a crash on May 25, 2013. His bond was sey at $100,000.

Just af ter 9 p.m. Saturday, May 25, 2013  DPS responded to a major accident in the 26000 block of FM 2978. When they arrived on the scene Magnolia Fire Department was in the process of removing victims from two vehicles. All three were critical causing MCHD to request two Life Flight helicopters. The first helicopter left with the victims of a 2003 Subaru SUV- Julio Reyes, 42, of Tomball  and his 15-year-old son Andres. Julio Reyes died on arrival at Hermann Hospital in Houston.

The second helicopter transported 21-year-old Landon Pieper of The Woodlands who was driving a 1997 Nissan. He was also flown to Hermann Hospital in Houston in critical condition.

According to DPS Sgt. Terry Barnhill, the unidentified driver in the Subaru was southbound on FM 2978 with his son when Pieper, who was northbound, crossed the center line striking the Subaru head-on.  FM 2978 does have rumble strips down the center line to alert drivers that they have crossed over.

The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Vehicular Crimes Unit also responded to the scene to assist in the  investigation which lasted close to five hours. Part of that investigation involved reassembling the vehicles.

After months of investigation and waiting on lab reports, a warrant was issued for Pieper’s arrest.

According to court documents, DPS Troopers investigating the crash found a a six pack of Budweiser (which was cold to the touch) and a grinder with a green leafy substance.

Trooper Ortega responded to Hermann Hospital in Houston to attempt to gather additional information. Upon arrival, he was notified of the death of Julio Reyes and his son was still critical. When he asked about Pieper, he learned he was critical and still in surgery. A sample of his blood was taken and sent to the DPS Lab in Austin.

In November, the lab report was returned showing Pieper had .054 milligrams of alprazolam, .70 milligrams per liter of benzoylecgonie, and a detectable amount of midazolam. All of these contribute to drowsiness, dizziness, unsteadiness, impaired coordination and other sedative effects. Midazolam is commonly administered by medical personnel as a pre-surgical sedative. Benzoylecgonine is the primary metabolite of cocaine.

The DPS Crime Lab in Austin does lab work for law enforcement across the Texas. The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office was using the Sam Houston State University laboratory in The Woodlands. Lab results in some cases were returned in days instead of months. SHSU then lost their lease on the property. Around the same time, Houston Police Department was having issues with their lab and offered their quarters in downtown Houston to SHSU. They now solely work on Houston police cases.

This wasn’t Pieper’s first brush with the law. He was arrested on November 10, 2010 for Manufacture or Possession with Intent to Deliver. At the time he had less than 4 grams of Amphetamine, less than 28 grams of Cariosprodol, less than 28 grams of Alprazolam, less than 28 grams of Hydrocodone and less than 28 grams of Clonazepam in his possession.

On January 13, 2011 he was sentenced to the Drug Court Diversion Program.

Then on April 4, 2011 he was again arrested and charged with Manufacture or Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance. At that time he had less than 28 grams of Hydrocodone  and between 28 and 200 grams of Alprazolam in his possession.

On September 8, 2011 he plead guilty to to the charges. His charges from 2010 were dismissed and he was sentenced to two years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. He was also ordered to pay a $356 fine and make a $200 restitution payment to Sam Houston State University Regional Crime Lab.

When he was sentenced he had already served 141 days in the Montgomery County Jail. He was then paroled out and finished his two year sentence on April 19, 2013.

He was charged in Harris county on August 30, 2012  with Criminal Trespass and Criminal Mischief in 2012 and was sentenced to 60 days.

Pieper bonded out over the weekend.



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