About 345am Sunday an intoxicated driver driving a Honda slammed into a mini van on SH 6 and Patterson Road in the Bear Creek area of West Harris County. That mini van then ran into a Chrysler 300. Moments later in the dark a Sion ran into the Honda. The driver of the Honda was intoxicated and was arrested for intoxication manslaugher. His passenger who was trapped whas removed from the vehicle and CPR was performed but he did not survive. THe driver tried to run from the scene but was captured by wrecker drivers and held for law enforcement. Between Patterson Road and I-10 there is a concrete wall which divides the highway, closed to the scene is a raised median which TXDOT has erected along Highway 6 and FM 1960. This was the same type of median Montgoery County residents fought and won when it was announced that SH 105 east would be widened and the median would be placed the length of the expansion. The Ponderosa Fire Chief who is responsible for a large portion of the FM 1960 area has complained since the median was erected there. He said you cannot drive a $1 million fire truck over them as it would damage it. He did agree it has slowed soem head on crashes but has also increased his response time to calls. When you have 3 lanes eastbound, a metro bus in one of those lanes unloading passengers and two lanes of solid traffic , you are stuck with lights and siren as there is no place for traffic to go. Prior to that they used the center turn lane. He said if a fire was on the westbound side and the fire truck was eastbound, he had a choice delay the attack on the fire by going to the next intersection and making a u-turn or shutting east and westbound lanes down and laying firehose across the lanes.
Sunday morning over 500 vehicle had to try to cross the median. Many scraping bottom, one driver ripped his gas tank open, another driver hung his Mustang on it. Houston Police were delayed responding as they were not able to get through with traffic at a stop. Units were finally able to shut traffic down completely. The other issue was southbound drivers, out of the hundreds that past only a handful slowed for emergency vehicles. As motorists tried to cross the median many were almost by southbound traffic traveling at close to 60 mph.
Some 20 vehicles were unable to cross and were later led southbound in the northbound lanes by Houston Police to Park Row.
In addition as this happened 3 other crashes happened involving intoxicated drivers, sideswiping or rear ending other vehicles. One woman who was stuck for hours in line and was finally able to cross the median was found hours later back in line passed out in her car. Police had her vehicle towed and the wrecker deliver her to her home as no officers were available to transport her. As the wrecker waited she got out of the wrecker, walked through the crash scene and demanded the officer have the wrecker driver release her car so she could drive home. She was finally convinced it was in her best interest to not attempt to drive.
Highway 6 was reopened close to 10am.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office assisted HPD in the investigation.