EAST MONTGOMERY COUNTY- Speed, alcohol and texting are probably to blame for a major accident that left a local man clinging to life Sunday night.
The one-vehicle crash occurred around 11:45 p.m. on Daw Collins Road, which connects FM 2090 and Old Highway 105.
New Caney resident Jeremy Collier, 23 and his passenger, 21-year-old David Kelley of Huffman were northbound in a 2003 Dodge 4×4 pickup, en route to a friend’s house, according to Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Samuel Laird.
The vehicle veered off the roadway and Collier tried to correct, but a culvert got in the way, which caused the truck to become airborne, Laird said. It landed upright, but the left rear tire broke off, sending the truck into a side spin, then it began to roll over, finally coming to rest upside down, crushing a tall chain link fence about 300 yards from Partain Road. The distance from where the truck went out of control to where it stopped was 250 to 300 feet.
There were no witnesses, Laird said. It was Kelley who called 911 and reported the accident and he was standing outside of the vehicle with his phone when help arrived.
Lt. Brandon Frazier, of the Splendora Fire Department, was first on the scene and led the effort to extricate Collier, who was partially ejected from the pickup.
Other SPD firefighters and MCHD medics joined Frazier. By all accounts it was a group effort to save Collier, who had an airway obstruction initially, then went into traumatic arrest and required CPR. Collier was flown by PHI Air Medical to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston in critical condition.
Kelley refused transport and left in a private vehicle.
Medics said there was a strong smell of alcohol coming from Collier and there were empty beer cans inside the pickup and strewn for yards around it.
The speed limit on Daw Collins is 45 miles per hour. Although the precise speed was not calculated, Laird said it was definitely a factor, along with the alcohol and texting.
UPDATE- Three days later, Collier died.