Monday, May 20, 2024
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School Cop on a Mission to Save Students

By Scott Engle & Jamie Nash

Friday morning, ambulances, fire trucks, police patrol cars and hearses flowed into the Caney Creek High School parking lot. Moments later, PHI Air Medical landed. Several vehicles and a 4-wheeler were scattered across the parking lot. Six students were critically injured including one who appeared to be intoxicated.

Conroe ISD Police were first on the scene and began assessing injuries, one of the crash victims was already deceased and two others were very critical. Caney Creek Fire Department immediately sprung into action, cutting victims out of the vehicles as others assisted medics with Medic XPress EMS in treating the injured. One victim was so severely injured that he was transported by PHI.

Conroe ISD Police did a field sobriety test on the young man who appeared impaired. Meanwhile, the other officers assisted with not only the victims, but parents of the victims that appeared on the scene. The victim who was beyond help was pronounced dead by Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace James Metts. As the judge completed the inquest, medics failed to revive 18-year-old Tracy Williams who the judge next pronounced dead.

Cashner Funeral Directors and Metcalf Funeral Directors responded to the scene. Tracy Williams’ body was placed on a backboard and put in a black body bag for the trip to the morgue and her mother stood crying.

Over 300 students witnessed the scene. Some were disrespectful and seemed to think it was funny, but the majority was shaken by the scene.

Angelia Griffin, the Caney Creek High School campus police officer, was approached almost three-months ago about putting something together for the students before prom and graduation. Several students have been lost recently in fatal crashes. Due to the number of high schools now in the county, the Shattered Lives program was not available to Caney Creek this year. Caney Creek’s program was called “Fatal Decisions.”

With her experience and her love for the students Griffin put the wheels in motion. When she contacted the Montgomery County Hospital District, she was told they would not be able to participate, but she refused to give up. Her next thought was of the private companies, and that is how Porter based Med XPress came into the picture. Her son being a firefighter and Angelia a 20-year member of the Caney Creek Fire Department, her next quest was to secure fire and rescue equipment along with firefighters to participate. Without hesitation, they agreed. PHI Air Medical gladly came onboard to provide the helicopter that loaded one student and instead of delivering her to the hospital, returned her to the school shortly after the program ended. Both funeral homes provided hearses for the event. The vehicles were provided by Robert’s Wrecker Service, which is based in the Grangerland area.

Conroe ISD Cpl. Mike Meeks contacted the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, who brought an inmate to speak with the students. He told them he was 10 years into his 50 years sentence for robbery. Drinking alcohol and using illegal drugs, he decided to rob a bank and then fled with police in hot pursuit. He lost them twice, and then his tire blew out just as he approached Interstate 20 and he was captured.

He told the students of the dangers not only of drinking and driving, but also how drugs affect actions. He told them about prison life. Several asked questions about the fights, the food and the lack of showering in privacy. They also asked about inmates only being issued one roll of toilet paper per week. That comment alone put a hush over the group.

Ms. Griffin, who has been with the Caney Creek Fire Department formerly Grangerland Fire Department will turn her equipment this week as she ends her 20-years of volunteer service. She will be missed by many on the accident scenes to which she has always responded and for the service she has given her community.

Editor’s note: Angela, we’ve personally been on scenes with you when you should have been home in bed, but you selflessly put the needs of strangers before your own. You also raised a son with the same values. On behalf of Grangerland area residents and those who’ve had emergencies while passing through, we thank you!



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