An early morning accident on US 59 southbound just north of Northpark has claimed the life of Lesley McDuffie age 43 of Houston. According to his wife, who ran up on the scene, he had been in Cleveland and left there earlier last night heading home.
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Just before he reached Northpark, he ran off the road in his 2001 Dodge one-ton pickup. He then struck the guardrail with the left side of his vehicle turning it sideways. He continued sideways until he struck the support column holding the overhead Northpark exit approach sign.
He struck the column with such force that a generator, horse feed and an ice chest, along with the truck’s tailgate vaulted over 100 feet from the vehicle. A wrecker driver traveling along Hwy 59 spotted the accident after it happened and called 911.
Porter Fire Department responded along with MCHD EMS and determined that McDuffie was beyond help. The scene was cleared around 6:30 a.m. DPS was assisted by Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Precinct 4 Constables, and the Porter Fire Department who also supplied a ladder truck to assist DPS in photographing the scene from overhead.
Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace James Metts responded to the scene and ordered Metcalf Funeral Directors to transport the body to the Southwest Forensic Center in Conroe for autopsy.
According to Trooper Ryan Clendennen who was assisted in the investigation by Trooper Pena and Sgt. Davis, speed could be a factor in this accident and will be determined from a vault test which uses a mathematical formula to calculate the weight and the distance the objects were thrown from the bed, which tells them the speed of travel at the time of the crash.
Clendennen also said even though Mr. McDuffie was not wearing his seatbelt, given the force of the accident, it may not have made a difference. This was the first recorded fatal accident in Montgomery County for 2010.
In 2009 five people were killed on January 10.