On June 30, 2021, at about 10:30 pm East Montgomery County Fire Department was dispatched to FM 1485 at Gene Campbell for a motorcycle accident. Units arrived to find a teen with his leg partially amputated at the knee. The victim, Christopher Ripley, from Cut and Shoot who was 23 years old at the time was transported to Memorial Hermann in the Texas Medical Center where doctors were unable to save his leg. According to DPS Troopers, Scott Cozine, 44, was intoxicated and traveling at a high rate of speed northbound on FM 1485 near Gene Campbell. He started to pass and struck a Honda motorcycle head-on at the intersection in a no-passing zone. Cozine or his female passenger, Jerri Tantillo, 45, were injured. DPS contacted a Montgomery County Judge for a search warrant to get a blood specimen from Cozine after he refused. He was then transported to the Montgomery County Jail on charges of Intoxication Assault. Cozine had one prior DWI in 2012 where a Wharton County Judge gave him 3-days in the Wharton County Jail. Cozine also has had multiple convictions for possession of marijuana and he was sentenced to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in 1994 for Deadly Conduct Discharge of a Firearm in Montgomery County. In 1997 he was arrested in Harris County for felon in possession of a firearm. For that, he was sentenced to 3-years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. On Tuesday Montgomery County Judge Patty Maginnis sentenced Cozine to 15 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Law Enforcement is doing its best in Montgomery County to fight the situation with intoxicated drivers. At least fifty a week are being arrested throughout the county. Warnings go up, signs go up, and yet the impaired drivers just keep going. On June 30th at 10:30 p.m., Chris Ripley and a friend were riding their motorcycles to the store down FM 1485 southbound toward I-69. As they approached Gene Campbell Drive a vehicle driven by Scott Bryan Cozine, age 44 was northbound and started passing vehicles at a high rate of speed. He and his 45-year-old girlfriend had just left the Bookeeters Bar on I-69 between SH 242 and Roman Forest Blvd according to Ripley. He was intoxicated. As he approached the intersection he missed Ripley’s friend but slammed head-on into Ripley. He then continued and struck the guardrail where his vehicle came to rest. Ripley was ejected from his motorcycle. He lay in the road with his leg partially amputated and losing a large amount of blood. Ripley said he remembers asking medics and police on the scene for water as he said he was thirsty, however, that was the blood loss. MCHD transported Ripley to Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center. He said when he left the scene he said he could not feel his legs. He came out of surgery with his left leg amputated above the knee. He went through seven more surgeries before being released from the hospital. Some of those included using pins and plates in his left hand and arm. Ripley who did HVAC and concrete work supports his 6-year-old daughter. He doesn’t know where he will work now. He is confined to a wheelchair. He recently has gone to stay with a family member near Austin who has a home that can accommodate his wheelchair. He goes back next week for some of the staples to be removed. A prosthetic, at a cost of close to $30,000 is at least 6 months down the road as the swelling needs to go down. Ripley said he wakes up at times in pain, his foot hurting, even though it is not there. Doctors are calling it phantom pain. Phantom pain is pain that feels like it’s coming from a body part that’s no longer there. Doctors once believed this post-amputation phenomenon was a psychological problem, but experts now recognize that these real sensations originate in the spinal cord and brain. Now unable to work, no insurance, and liability-only insurance on his motorcycle. Cozine also did not have insurance when he hit Ripley. Ripley doesn’t know what to do. Ripley said the night on the scene he talked to God who he said told him, “You can go if you are ready”. But Ripley thought about his fiance and his daughter and he said he could, ‘t do it. Ripley said every day in the hospital he missed her, he Facetimed her. His daughter said, “he should be normal and not ever get hurt again.”. When Ripley first got home from the hospital his daughter told him, “I don’t want a daddy with only one leg”.