Two people died less than 12-hours apart in unrelated automobile collisions in Montgomery County on Sunday.
On Sunday morning, 24-year-old Kenneth West of Conroe was killed when an 18-wheeler struck him on SH 242 just west of Glen Eagle Drive. West was a pedestrian.
Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Terry Barnhill said the 18-wheeler, driven by 43-year-old Ronald Miller of Magnolia, was eastbound on SH 242 when West walked out in front of it.
West had prior mental health issues and his families told investigators he had not been taking his medication and may have walked out in front of the truck deliberately, Barnhill said. West’s residence was off of Glen Eagle Dr, a couple of blocks from where he died.
DPS Trooper Upshaw responded to the scene from Huntsville and conducted a Federal Department of Transportation inspection on the big rig, which uncovered several violations including issues with the brakes and tires.
Barnhill said since some of the malfunctions with the brakes could possibly have occurred when the 18-wheeler traveled over West’s body.
The investigation is ongoing and evidence will be submitted to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office for possible presentation to a grand jury.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the possible suicide. Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace Edie Connelly conducted an inquest and ordered an autopsy.
The county’s second fatality on Sunday occurred around 4:30 p.m. on FM 2978 near Westmoreland when a Magnolia teen died in a head-on collision.
Magdaleno Torres Pinon, Jr., 16, was pronounced dead on the scene after officials say the vehicle he was driving struck another in the oncoming lane of traffic. Pct. 5 Justice of the Peace Matt Masden conducted an inquest and ordered an autopsy.
According to the Department of Public Safety, 42-year-old Anette Tanche-Larsen was southbound on FM 2978 in a Volvo SUV when Pinon’s northbound Honda Pilot passed illegally on a hill, just after a curve and struck her.
A woman who was selling puppies near the intersection where the crash occurred said she did not see anything, but heard the crash and looked up. Other witnesses told officers Pinon was passing. The speed limit on that section of FM 2978 is 50 miles per hour.
Tanche-Larson’s 13-year-old daughter Lisa was her only passenger. Both were transported to Tomball Hospital in stable condition. According to DPS, the family recently relocated to the area from Norway because of a job transfer.
One of Pinon’s three passengers, 16-year-old Sandra Rimerez, was transported by PHI Air Medical to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston in critical condition with blunt force head trauma.
The other two passengers were 15-year old Randy Trejo and 14-year-old Jessica Torres, who was transported to Hermann Hospital in The Woodlands in stable condition. Trejo has a broken shoulder and bruises. Torres has a compound fracture to the left arm.
DPS officials said none of the teens were wearing seatbelts.