The case of Casey Lynn McKinley, of Grangerland has been indicted by the Grand Jury Tuesday on three counts of manslaughter. This stems from an October 16, 2009 crash that killed three. McKinley was 18 at the time of the crash.
The crash occurred around 10:15 a.m. at Porter Road (Fm 1314) and S. Loop 336 and claimed the lives of 50-year-old Craig Rector, his girlfriend’s daughter, 20-year-old Felicia Hicks and her common-law husband, Freedom Fitch, 24. All were Splendora residents.
According to police, the victims were in a Mazda sedan traveling northbound on FM 1314 when witnesses say a Dodge Ram 3500 Dually pickup, driven by McKinley, was traveling at a high rate of speed eastbound on Loop 336 and ran a red light where those roads intersect. The pickup struck the side of the Mazda and pushed it into an older model Mercedes sedan that stopped in the westbound lanes of Loop 336 waiting to turn onto FM 1314. Another westbound vehicle was also struck when the Mercedes slid into it.
Rector, the Mazda’s driver, was pronounced dead on the scene. A PHI medical helicopter loaded Fitch and began to take off for the Texas Medical Center, but he went into traumatic arrest and they landed. Like Hicks, Fitch was loaded into a ground ambulance and transported to Conroe Regional Medical Center where both were pronounced dead.
McKinley and the driver of one of the westbound vehicles were taken by ground ambulances to a local hospital. McKinley was treated and released to law enforcement.
Rector was a father of five, and had legal custody of his two grandchildren ages 1 and 3 years, according to his family. Hicks and Fitch shared a 2-year-old daughter, Annabelle. None of the three children were with them at the time of the crash.
The Conroe Police Department Community Oriented Response Team conducted the crash investigation and was joined on-scene by Montgomery County prosecutor Warren Diepraam. McKinley, a 2009 graduate of Caney Creek High School had no prior criminal record as an adult and was a student at Texas A&M, Galveston. He was released from the county jail following an October 22, 2009 bond reduction hearing.
Since then, the victims’ families have erected three crosses at the accident site.
Pamela Blair remains devastated at the loss of her brother, Craig Rector.
The crash occurred the day before Blair’s birthday, which was spent making funeral preparations and answering a 3-year-old who kept asking, “Where’s my Pawpaw?”
Blair said she told him “Pawpaw went to see Jesus.”
But the loss did not end with Craig. His niece, Blair’s daughter, was pregnant with twins and lost one within days of his death of the second within two weeks. The family cannot help feeling the stress of Craig’s death played a role.
The family buried Craig near his elderly parents’ home in Nacogdoches and their first Christmas without him was spent at his gravesite.
Blair redecorated her brother’s crash site for almost every holiday since the crash. . She says her family is confident in Diepraam’s abilities as a prosecutor, and prays for justice, though nothing will bring back her brother.