A girl was killed in Sealy, Texas and her mother was injured July 7, 2016 after a truck crashed into an Old Highway 90 bridge. Sealy police said the crash caused debris to fall on top of their car on Highway 36.
A Texas Disposal Services truck with its boom raised was moving down Highway 36, passing under an Old Highway 90 bridge about 10 a.m. The trucker missed or ignored the bridge warning buoys hanging from the yellow warning sign, and/or failed to notice his boom was raised, and smashed into the overpass. Pieces of bridge from the crash fell onto Highway 36. A very unfortunate mother was at the same time motoring north with her two kids, one in front and the other in back.
The child in front was killed, investigators said, when falling bridge debris crushed the front of the car. Twelve-year-old Brein Bullock was sitting in the front seat.
Thirty-five-year-old mother Leah Bullock was med-flighted in critical condition to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Katy, said Sealy City Manager Larry Kuciemba.
Police said the 9-year-old child in back, Breanbon Gardner, escaped from the car, apparently unhurt, and was released to family members from the Eagle Lake area, where the family lives.
Truck ignored Bridge Warning System
Sealy Police Chief Chris Noble told Click2Houston that a warning system in place alerts trucks of the bridge’s height. (see photo)
Chief Noble explained: “There is a wire that is suspended across the street with metal tubes or cylinders that hang down. There’s a huge sign that says if you hit this, you are going to hit the bridge.”
The chief also said witnesses driving behind the truck saw it hit the cylinders and just keep going. They filmed the incident with a GoPro camera, but police said they are not releasing the video.
Sky2Houston showed the roof of Ms. Bullock’s vehicle completely removed, possibly by city, county, or state authorities.
Highway 36 lanes in both directions were all shut down as emergency crews arrived to work in the area.
Chief Noble said police are treating the case as a homicide investigation, “because of the nature of the circumstances… that part of the truck was suspended when it should’ve been down.”
The truck driver, 72-year-old Carl Weige, was taken to hospital, his condition unknown.
Truck Crash kills Girl in Sealy
Sealy Mayor Mark Stolarski said the bridge had been hit once before, perhaps a year and a half ago. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) said the bridge was replaced after that crash, and was last inspected April 2015. TxDOT is investigating.
TxDOT’s Veronica Beyer said the bridge was scheduled to find a contractor in September in order to be elevated. Chief Noble said Highway 36 was going to be elevated to avoid street flooding, and therefore the bridge was also going to be elevated.
Texas Disposal Systems released a statement to KPRC 2 that read, “We regret a TDS truck was involved in an incident impacting an overpass in Sealy, TX. We have been told there was a fatality and are saddened by the loss resulting from this incident. Our deepest sympathies go to the family-members and friends. An investigation is currently underway by local authorities. TDS is cooperating fully and will also be conducting its own investigation. (We) will be in communication with the community and public as relevant information becomes available.”
Austin County Sheriff’s Office was also on the scene to help the investigation and rescue.
A GoFundMe account was set up for the family.
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