Police: Drunk driver killed 1, injured 2 on I-45 shoulder

SPRING – A flat tire and an impaired driver resulted in one person dead and two more seriously injured late Saturday.

A motorist was northbound in the 22600 block of Interstate 45 when his tire went flat and he pulled to the shoulder and called for roadside assistance. A female friend saw him and stopped behind his car, and then a wrecker driver noticed the pair of vehicles and pulled over in front of the disabled vehicle.

The rescue vehicle arrived last, stopping behind the vehicle belonging to disabled motorist’s friend.

Deputy Dan Drake with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, all four vehicles were lined up on the shoulder with their hazard lights on and the tow truck also had its overhead strobe lights activated.

The driver of the disabled vehicle, the wrecker driver, and the rescue vehicle driver were changing the left front tire of the disabled car beside the moving lane of traffic, while the driver’s friend and her passenger were on the right side of the vehicles.

The suspect, identified by Drake’s posted report only as 40-year-old L. Veneas, “failed to drive in a single lane of traffic and crossed the fog line and continued traveling on the shoulder of the road.”

The front passenger side of Veneas’ vehicle struck the rear driver side of the rescue truck, forcing it forward. The vehicle then struck the next vehicle in line, the disable’s motorist’s friend’s car. The impact from striking the second vehicle caused Veneas’ vehicle to rotate and roll over, striking the driver of the rescue truck, the driver of the disabled vehicle, and the wrecker driver.

The rescue truck’s drive was pronounced dead on the scene.

The driver of the disabled vehicle and the wrecker driver were seriously injured and transported to area hospitals.

Deputy Drake reported that Veneas “exhibited indicators of impairment due to the introduction of (alcohol) into her body.” She too was transported to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries. A blood sample was taken and results are pending.

The crash remains under investigation.

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