Story and photos courtesy of PolkCountyToday.com, Willie P. Openshaw, Editor
At approximately 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, a black 1999 Ford Excursion, driven by Francisco Manuel Garcia, 44, of Houston, was southbound on US-59 in the vicinity of Goodrich. As Garcia was passing the north end of Loop 393, a silver 2013 Mazda CX5, driven by Yenny Heiman, 74, of Montgomery, pulled off of 393 and directly in front of Garcia’s vehicle. Garcia’s vehicle impacted the rear half of Heiman’s vehicle. Garcia’s vehicle proceeded through the center median, crossed the north-bound lanes of 59, and came to rest in the grass on the north-bound side. Heiman’s vehicle came to rest in the center median. Americare and Allegiance Ambulance Services were dispatched to the scene along with the Goodrich and Livingston Volunteer Fire Departments, Deputy Ronald Bogany with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Corporal Ramey Bass with the Texas Highway Patrol. Garcia and his two passengers were all transported to CHI Livingston Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Heiman was flown to Conroe Regional Hospital with serious injuries. Passenger (front seat) Veetrakel Boorkient was flown to Hermann Hospital in Houston with serious injuries. A second passenger (back seat) Ubolrat Copeland, 71, of Montgomery was allegedly killed on impact. Justice of the peace Robert Johnson performed an inquest at the scene. A first-call car from Cochran Funeral Home transported Copeland from the scene. Traffic on both sides of 59 was partially blocked during investigation and cleanup and flight operations. This accident remains under investigation by the Texas Highway Patrol. A rollback wrecker from Ken’s Towing recovered Heiman’s vehicle and it will be stored at Harrison Body Shop in Livingston. Garcia’s vehicle was recovered by a rollback wrecker from LakeView Wrecker and it will be stored in Livingston.