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FIVE YEARS FOR INTOXICATION MANSLAUGHTER

On March 17, 2011, DPS Trooper Oelsner was on routine patrol when a vehicle passed him going the opposite direction at 98 miles per hour. The trooper turned around on the vehicle and stopped it. The driver, Daniel Freund, had no excuse for the speed he was doing. Oelsner, who has seen to many fatal crashes in his career, spoke harshly to Freund. He told Freund that he was going to kill himself or somebody driving like he was. He told him he was a young inexperienced driver who would to end up losing his license (costing him almost $2000 a year) or his life if he did not change his habits.

On March 14, 2012 Caney Creek Fire Department was dispatched just after 2 a.m. to a reported major accident in the 12800 block of FM 1485. MCHD was first to arrive on the scene and found a 2002 Saturn that had struck a utility pole. The vehicle snapped off not one but two utility poles that were paired next to each other. In addition, the top of the pole snapped, leaving 35,000 volts hanging overhead. Fire crews called for additional help from River Plantation Fire Department, Using three sets of tools it was a joint effort between firefighters, MCHD medics, deputies with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and wrecker drivers to free the two teens from the twisted metal mass. After almost an hour, with the high voltage lines hanging just over their heads they were able to free the two and start medical care.

The male driver is Daniel Freund,  18-years-old. He was transported to Ben Taub Hospital in Houston in critical condition.

The female passenger has been identified as a 16-year-old Halie Mcdonald a Caney Creek High School student. She was transported to Hermann Hospital in Houston in critical condition with a severe head injury, internal injuries, and broken bones. She was pronounced dead a short time later.

Due to fog, the Air Medical Services were unavailable at the time.

Troopers investigated the crash as Entergy workers stood by to start making repairs and to restore service. DPS Trooper Oelsner who stopped Freund the year before was one of the Troopers investigating the crash.  Early investigation shows the vehicle was southbound at a high rate of speed when it entered a curve. Running off the edge of the road, the vehicle slid sideways into the pole.

The posted speed limit in the area is 50 m.p.h.

On May 11, 2012, Daniel Freund was arrested and charged with intoxication manslaughter.

Monday morning Daniel Freund appeared in court. It was the morning that jury selection was to start for his trial this week. However, a call from Freund’s attorney to the District Attorney on Sunday with an offer that Freund would accept a 5-year sentence. A finding of a deadly weapon (the vehicle ) was added to it. With a deadly weapon having been found, Freund will spend at least 30 months incarcerated before even being eligible for parole.

Donna Kinser, Halie McDonald’s grandmother recalls the morning of the crash. They were preparing to go to the hospital as a family member was having surgery. She missed a call from the hospital and when she called back could not understand why t was Hermann in Houston. She was then told Halie had been brought there after a crash. She raced to Hermann and was told by a doctor coming out of Hailey’s room that she had just passed. He explained that her head injury was just so bad that they were unable to do anything with it.

She recalls waiting, wondering if anything would ever become of Freund. They were prepared to start attending the trial today when the phone call came last night that Freund was going to plea to five years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

She said she was not really happy with the sentence as the man who pulled the donkey was sentenced to about the same. But then also she understood a jury could have possibly given him probation.

Ever since the crash, not a word was spoken to the family from Freund, not even an “I’m sorry”.

She said as he was shackled and cuffed this morning she was satisfied that he was finally going to prison to be held accountable for his actions.

She still has unanswered questions as to why Hailey was in Freund’s vehicle without her shoes, socks or cell phone. Any other time if Hailey thought a driver may be impaired or was not comfortable she would call her grandmother to pick her up.

Another friend, Morgan, who attended the party that night a boy’s house whose parents were out of town. She said alcohol was supplied but only remembers one-shot, Hailey only had one shot also. After that Morgan said she did not know what happened as she passed out. She awoke at 630am, unsure where she was and hearing of the crash with Hailey.

Freund will be eligible for parole in thirty months, he has 5 days’ credit currently. However, being eligible and making parole are two different things. Parole can actually put off the decision due to conduct in prison, friends and family fighting his parole or on their own account.

 

 

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