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FIVE YEARS FOR INTOXICATION MANSLAUGHTER

On March 17, 2011 DPS Trooper Oelsner was on routine patrol when a vehicle passed him going the opposite direction at 98 miles per hour. The trooper turned around on the vehicle and stopped it. The driver, Daniel Freund, had no excuse for the speed he was doing. Oelsner, who has seen to many fatal crashes in his career, spoke harshly to Freund. He told Freund that he was going to kill himself or somebody driving like he was. He told him he was a young inexperienced driver who would to end up losing his license (costing him almost $2000 a year) or his life, if he did not change his habits.

On March 14, 2012 Caney Creek Fire Department was dispatched just after 2 a.m.  to a reported major accident in the 12800 block of FM 1485. MCHD was first to arrive on the scene and found a 2002 Saturn that had struck a utility pole. The vehicle snapped off not one but two utility poles which were paired next to each other. In addition the top of the pole snapped, leaving 35,000 volts hanging overhead. Fire crews called for additional help from River Plantation Fire Department, Using three sets of tools it  was a joint effort between firefighters, MCHD medics, deputies with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and wrecker drivers to free the two teens from the twisted metal mass. After almost an hour, with the high voltage  lines hanging just over their heads they were able to free the two and start medical care.

The male driver is Daniel Freund,  18-years-old. He was transported to Ben Taub Hospital in Houston in critical  condition.

The female passenger has been identified as a 16-year-old Halie Mcdonald a Caney Creek High School student student. She was transported to Hermann Hospital in Houston in critical condition with a severe head injury, internal injuries, and broken bones. She was pronounced dead a short time later.

Due to fog the Air Medical Services were unavailable at the time.

Troopers investigated the crash as Entergy workers stood by to start making repairs and to restore service. DPS Trooper Oelsner who stopped Freund the year before was one of the Troopers investigating the crash.  Early investigation shows the vehicle was southbound at a high rate of speed when it entered a curve. Running off the edge of the road, the vehicle slid sideways into the pole.

The posted speed limit in the area is 50 m.p.h.

On May 11, 2012 Daniel Freund was arrested and charged with intoxication manslaughter.

Monday morning Daniel Freund appeared in court. It was the morning that jury selection was to start for his trial this week. However, a call from Freund’s attorney to the District Attorney on Sunday with an offer that Freund would accept a 5-year sentence. A finding of deadly weapon (the vehicle ) was added to it. With a deadly weapon having been found, Freund will spend at least 30 months incarcerated before even being eligible for parole.

Donna Kinser, Halie McDonalds grandmother recalls the morning of the crash. They were preparing to go to the hospital as a family member was having surgery. She missed a call from the hospital and when she called back could not understand why t was Hermann in Houston. She was then told Halie had been brought there after a crash. She raced to Hermann and was told by a doctor coming out of Hailey’s room that she had just passed. He explained that her head injury was just so bad that they were unable to do anything with it.

She recalls waiting , wondering if anything would ever become of Freund. They were prepared to start attending the trial today when the phone call came last night that Freund was going to plea to five years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

She said she was not really happy with the sentence as the man who pulled the donkey was sentenced to about the same. But then also she understood a jury could have possibly given him probation.

Ever since the crash not a word was spoken to the family from Freund, not ever a “I’m sorry”.

She said as he was shackled and cuffed this morning she was satisfied that he was finally going to prison to be held accountable for his actions.

She still has unanswered questions as to why Hailey was in Freund’s vehicle without her shoes, socks or cell phone. Any other time if Hailey thought a driver may be impaired or was not comfortable she would call her grandmother to pick her up.

Another friend, Morgan, who attended the party that night a a boys house whose parents were out of town. She said alcohol was supplied but only remembers one shot, Hailey only had one shot also. After that Morgan said she did not know what happened as she passed out. She awoke at 630am, unsure where she was and hearing of the crash with Hailey.

Freund will be eligible for parole in thirty months, he has 5 days credit currently. However being eligible and making parole are two different things. Parole can actually put off the decision due to conduct in prison, friends and family fighting his parole or on their own account.

 

 

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9 Comments

  1. Doris Taylor

    Extremely sad situation for both families involved. Yes The young man made a very bad decision and now he must face the consequences for his actions. Also, he must live with this the remainder of his life. At the age of 18 so many of us have made bad decisions and we were blessed that those decisions did not harm someone else or take another human life. But anyone calling names cannot say they have not done things in their life that they would like to change or get the opportunity to redo. I must add, why a parent would allow their daughter out at this time of the morning, I do not understand. Just cannot put 100% of the blame on the young man, most of it yea, but not all ! For the young ladies family and friends, I truly so feel sorrow for your loss. I pass her cross almost daily and am reminded of that night that the crash was heard, we lost power and almost immediately heard the sirens. Tried to go to scene but was turned away by an officer. No I will not forget and feel confident that the young man will not forget either.

  2. the truth hurts

    As an old volunteer fire fighter id like to say this was a well done piece would really love to see it shown yearly to as many schools as possible. Id like to also see this video as one of the requirements for drivers ed. In our community we have had similar stories through out the years one even involved one of my best friends in high school. (passenger of a drunk driver killed never forget that night when I was woke up to be told one of my best friends was killed in roll over accident). Heart goes out to Mrs. Kinser and family and totally agree that something like this doesn’t just affect a few it is just heartbreaking. Our kids all do stupid things I know I sure did, but its times like these that you see how poor some decisions are. This story had a lil bit of everything excessive speeding year before with DPS pulling this young man over giving him a history lesson in what would happen if he didnt straighten up…. oddly enough almost a year from the date of the accident it actually came true, under age drinking, lying to parents, talk of driving to get weed, years after no remorse shown to the family, and to top it all off a joke of a sentence given to this guy in my opinion. I would like to think that a young life, all the pain and sorrow this moment in time has and will continue to cause would be worth more than what it is but with our bleeding heart liberal ways….. I can see how it would be to risky to try this in a court of law. However 5 years is an insult. Hopefully one day the family might be given the unanswered questions they still have and a heart felt apology to help with the continued closer of this young life being taken from them.

  3. bobbyd

    Typical storyline….. Drunk MURDERER walks away with their life,while the innocent pay with theirs.
    A “Stern Warning” for 98 mph… I could understand 10mph over getting a warning…BUT 20+ mph over…. At least an overnight stay at The County Hilton!!

  4. spk

    What was done to him the first time in 2011? That may be the determining factor here. It is a travesty of justice that this young man has ignored at least one (and maybe more) good chance before to straighten up, even told he is going to kill someone, does so, and just gets a few years. When he gets out of the pen, he will be in his early twenties. He didn’t even get enough years to grow up. He has no concept of being human and hurting others. Was he paying $2000 a year to have a license? How did he afford it? Or did he even have one? How tragic.

  5. scratchnmyhead

    Why does it take the DA’s office so long to prosecute?

    What has happened to the right to a speedy trial in Montgomery county?

  6. pamawalker

    I’m sorry but this creep should have been charged with MURDER because that’s what he did!!! Give him LIFE or DEATH!!

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