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DWI suspected in East Texas after-school injury crash

Police near Galveston reported a drunk driving accident at a school bus stop injured two girls and their grandfather. A 61-year-old Kountze man is being held on more than $800,000 bond for the hit-and-run car accident in Silsbee.

Investigators say the grandfather and the girls, a first-grader and a fourth-grader, were crossing FM 418, just after the elementary students were dropped off by a school bus. Reports say the school bus was stopped with lights flashing as the relatives crossed in front of it.

Witnesses reported that a driver in a car behind the school vehicle ignored the signal to wait, passed the bus and struck the children and their grandfather in the road. The car driver reportedly fled the accident scene. Deputies apprehended the suspect later the same Friday as the driver arrived at his home.

The grandfather who was struck suffered serious injuries. He is listed in critical condition at Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth. The elder granddaughter was hurt, but was released from the hospital after treatment. The younger granddaughter was more severely injured than her sister. A DPS trooper said Galveston doctors at UTMB recently removed the child from a ventilator. Her condition is listed as stable.

The Kountze suspect was arrested and arraigned on three counts of intoxication assault with failure to stop to help the victims. Additional charges included causing an injury accident, passing a school bus causing injury and DWI with an open container.

The drunk driving suspect is being held in the Hardin County Jail. The three intoxication assault charges represented $750,000 of the bond order.

Source:, “Child improving after struck by driver while walking from school bus,” Scott Lawrence, Dec. 5, 2011

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