JANUARY 1, 2012
At 9:35 January 2, 2012, Conroe Police responded to a major accident on I-45 just north of League Line Road. Officers, fire and EMS attempted to reach the scene but were snarled in traffic that had already built upon the area of the road that is only two lanes with concrete barriers on each side and no shoulders.
Other units came in from north of the scene and counter flowed to reach the crash. Conroe Fire Department also had one truck stuck in the traffic, so they had to dispatch additional trucks and call upon North Montgomery County Fire Department to assist. One victim was reported to be trapped in the vehicle.
As officers approached they were told a white Chevrolet pickup was also involved in the crash and fled the scene. That vehicle was reported to have extensive front end damage. An attempt to locate was put out to DPS
Firefighters worked to free Tammy Rhoades from the vehicle. Extrication was difficult due to the damage of the vehicle. It had been hit so hard that the floor pan and seats had been blown out through the bottom of the Pontiac Grand Am. She died on the scene. It was later learned Ms. Rhoades left a celebration of her 45th birthday just prior to the crash.
As the Conroe Police CORT team arrived on the scene and started investigating the story told by one of the drivers was not adding up.
According to Conroe Police, William Ramirez, 23, of Huntsville was northbound on I-45 in his white Toyota when he had a flat tire and thought it was on fire, causing him to stop in the moving lane of traffic since there were no shoulders.
Tammy Rhoades was behind Ramirez, and seeing the vehicle stopped, she stopped behind him with her flashers on. That is when 21-year-old Tyler Shelton, of 12652 Lake Vista in Willis said he was driving his black Chevrolet pickup and saw the white pickup strike the green Grand Am. Shelton said he was unable to stop, and slammed into the Grand-Am after the white truck struck it and pushed it from the right lane to the left lane.
After examining Shelton’s truck, investigating officers realized there most likely was no white truck, and that it was Shelton whose vehicle struck the Grand Am initially.
Green paint transfer, green paint chips and other items on Shelton’s truck were consistent with Shelton being the only driver who struck Rhoades’ vehicle. That collision occurred with such force that her front license plate was imprinter in the rear bumper of Ramirez’s vehicle.
There were no other injuries. TxDOT responded to the scene to assist in traffic control since the freeway did not reopen until after 3 a.m.
Tyler Shelton pleads guilty to the felony offense of Intoxication Manslaughter in the 221st District Court Thursday. Tammy Rhoades, the victim in the case, was killed upon impact with Shelton’s vehicle. In an agreed plea, Shelton was sentenced to ten years probation, six months jail, 400 hours of community service including presentations to schools and DWI victim’s groups, maintain a marker at the site of the crash, establish a college fund for the victim’s children and several other conditions. The victim’s family was present in the courtroom and had asked the Assistant District Attorney handling the case, Warren Diepraam, to agree to these terms of punishment rather than a prison sentence. In a tearful victim impact statement, the victim’s daughter spoke about how the loss of her mother has affected her and the family. Many of the victim’s family members were there to show their support of the case. The defendant also gave a statement where he apologized to the victim’s family and asked for their forgiveness. Several of his family members were in the courtroom as well. Diepraam stated that the practice at the District Attorney’s Office is these offenders deserve prison sentences, but each case is unique depending on the facts and circumstances. Diepraam stated that in this case, the victim’s family’s request for a probationary sentence with strict conditions was what prompted the offer.

JANUARY 2, 2012
Tragedy struck in South Montgomery County Monday afternoon when a young woman accidentally ran over and killed a preschool age neighbor. Previously released information was based on the initial information obtained at the scene, where investigators were unable to thoroughly question the distraught family for details and clarification. That information has since been corrected.

A little after 4 p.m., 21-year-old Elizabeth Royse was driving her BMW SUV on East Legends Trail, west of Aldine Westfield and north of Rayford Road, as 3-year-old Aimee Collier played on her driveway with her three older siblings, including a 10-year-old and a 12-year-old on Legends Estate Drive. Footprints and in the ditch and other information initially led investigators to surmise that Aimee was playing in the ditch at the time and climbed out of it. It has since been learned the footprints were likely those of one or more of her siblings rushing to stop her or rushing to her after she was struck.

According to Aimee’s father, Tartan Collier, one of the older siblings wanted to go visit a friend down the street, so she got on her bicycle and headed down the driveway, and turned north. Unfortunately, Aimee decided to follow. As Tartan Collier put it, she “in an instant, ran down the driveway and onto the street, ignoring her pursuing 12-year-old brother’s calls for her to stop.” About the same time, Royse turned left onto Legends Estate Drive, headed for her family’s home. Aimee Collier’s brother cut across the ditch trying to catch her, Tartan Collier said, but the car reached little Aimee first. At only about three feet tall, Royse did not see her.

Royse heard a thud, but thought she ran over a trash can lid, according to investigators, until she nearly reached her own driveway, three doors down from Aimee’s, and looked in the rearview mirror. To her horror, Royse saw the small child wearing a red jacket and laying in the roadway. Aimee’s family was already aware of what happened, according to Tartan Collier.

“My wife and I were just around the corner when we heard my son yell for Aimee; we were there by her side within seconds,” he said.

Royse ran to her home and alerted her father. Montgomery County Hospital District medics and South Montgomery County Fire Department responded to the scene. A Life Flight medical helicopter was requested and then cancelled after Aimee went into traumatic arrest. Aimee Collier was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Woodlands where all efforts to save the child failed. Aimee was pronounced dead less than an hour after she was playing outside her home.

Tartan Collier said he sincerely believes Royse was unable to see Aimee when she turned onto the street “and that what transpired was simply a tragic accident.”

The Texas Department of Public Safety is investigating the accident and a representative of the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office Vehicular Crimes Division was also on the scene assisting. No charges have been filed against the driver but a complete report is going to be made to the District Attorney’s Office so that they can present it to the Grand Jury to look at the reasonableness of charges in this case.

Trooper Chapman said, “This is the definition of an accident, a series of tragic events that caused unfortunate death of a 3-year-old”



JANUARY 2, 2013
Residents are concerned for their safety after three related fires destroyed two homes and damaged two others in the Country West Subdivision near FM 1485 early Tuesday morning. An ongoing investigation conducted by the Montgomery County Fire Marshall’s office determined the fires had been deliberately set.

A glow emanating from the porch awoke the occupant of a mobile home in the 14600 block of County West Drive shortly after midnight. Upon investigating she found, cushions on a porch swing burning. The fire was attributed to numerous fireworks being set off in the area and quickly extinguished. The resident went back into her home and fell asleep, but a loud popping sound awakened her a second time at 1:08 AM.

The resident called for help when she looked outside to see what had made the noise and discovered flames shooting out of a neighboring mobile home. Caney Creek, Central Montgomery County and New Caney Fire Departments responded to the 911 call, finding heavy flames pouring out of the unoccupied home. Flames spread to an adjacent mobile home, melting the skirting.

Neighboring homes were evacuated as a precaution. As firefighters fought to extinguish flames engulfing the mobile homes, they spotted a column of smoke arising from a third fire set in a travel trailer about 200 yards away on the opposite side of the street. The travel trailer was also vacant and used for storage.

Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputies and DPS troopers scoured the area. Neither the suspected arsonist(s) nor additional fires were spotted in the Country West subdivision. Power was not turned on in any of the structures. It is believed the fires were set inside the vacant homes by the same person or persons and had time to spread before being discovered.

Residents are worried because the first fire was set on a porch as people slept inside their home and could have quickly turned deadly if the occupant had not awakened. The alleged arsonist(s) complete disregard for the safety of those that call the Country West Subdivision is disturbing.

Investigations into this series of arson fires will continue. Anyone with information pertaining to the fires is asked to contact the Montgomery County Fire Marshall’s Office at (936) 538-8288 or Montgomery County Crimestoppers at 1-800-392-STOP (7867).

JANUARY 2, 2013
A little before noon on Wednesday Taud Damonn Washington , 41, broke into a vehicle parked at 24-Hour Fitness, stole several items including a credit card, and went on a shopping spree in the Woodlands Mall. The owner of the vehicle was inside the gym working out. Washington is a registered sex offender and a habitual criminal who was released from TDCJ on September 29, 2012 to a halfway house on Old Beaumont Road in Houston. This is his second arrest since.

Washington’s first stop was the Microsoft Store where he attempted to make a purchase. He moved on to Helzberg Jewelers and attempted to use the stolen credit card to make another purchase, which was denied. Next, he entered Zales Jewelers where he once again attempted to make a purchase with the stolen card.

By this time, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office had been alerted to the attempted transactions and units were quickly closing in on the mall. Mall security had moved to the entrance of Zales and began delivering a play by play account of Washington’s actions to the Sheriff’s Office.

Washington exited Zales, walking through Sears’ lower level on his way to the parking lot. Deputies were arriving on the scene as the suspect opened the door got of his 1997 XJ6 Jaguar and got inside. Woodlands Mall Security attempted to block him in with an SUV but Washington continued moving backward and plowed into the SUV.

Washington defied orders issued by a Montgomery County Deputy Sheriff to exit the vehicle. He chose to accelerate instead, driving towards the deputy. In fear of his life, the deputy drew his service revolver and shot once through the windshield on the driver’s side of the suspect’s vehicle. Fortunately, the shot missed Washington, but persuaded him to surrender as he realized Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputies meant business.

The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office and detectives from the sheriff’s office responded to the incident. Sheriff Gage was also present at the crime scene, overseeing the investigation and ensuring the deputy was unharmed.

No one was injured in the incident. The Woodlands Mall security SUV received minor damage to the left rear and the Jaguar sustained damage to the right rear. Washington was charged with aggravated assault on a public servant and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (the car). He was booked into the Montgomery County Jail.

JANUARY 2, 2016
At 249am Houston firefighters responded to a house fire in the 3000 block of Caplin near Jensen. They arrived to find heavy fire in an add-on room to the house. Flames had already ignited trees around the property. They were quickly able to extinguish the blaze. There were no injuries.

JANUARY 2, 2016
A Houston woman died Saturday evening as she crossed the feeder of the East Freeway near Lockwood. A transfer wrecker had exited the freeway and came up the elevated ramp. The female dressed in dark clothes failed to yield and was struck. No charges are expected.