Thursday, July 25, 2024

A big rig plowed into a Texas Department of Public Safety office, killing 1 and injuring several others, officials say.

A big rig plowed into the Texas Department of Public Safety in an apparent “intentional” act, officials said Friday. One person was killed and at least a dozen others were injured, said DPS Sgt. Justin Ruiz at a news conference Friday afternoon.

A suspect stole an 18-wheeler and crashed it into an office in Brenham, about 75 miles west of Houston, in a “deliberate, brutal act.” said Texas State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst in a statement on social media.

Ruiz said the suspect, identified as 42-year-old Glenard Parker, had been denied a commercial driver's license at the Brenham office earlier in the afternoon. A deputy was chasing the stolen rig, which appeared to turn right into the DPS office and crash into a driver's license waiting area, Ruiz said.

Parker, of Chapel Hill, was arrested and is being held at the Washington County Jail, online inmate records show. He faces various charges including evading arrest and unauthorized use of a vehicle.

A driver driving a stolen semitrailer intentionally crashed into a Texas public safety office in a rural town west of Houston on Friday, injuring several people, a state legislator said.

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Three people were airlifted to area hospitals with serious injuries, Ruiz revealed, and one of them died at the hospital. Three others were taken by ambulance to a local hospital in stable condition, where all three were treated and released.

Eight people were treated at the scene and released, Ruiz said. No suspects were injured.

Officials said the identity of the deceased will not be released pending notification of next of kin.

Of the patients who were airlifted, two were taken to St. Joseph Health Regional Hospital in Bryan, Ruiz said, and the third to Memorial Hermann in Houston.

All three were taken by ambulance to Baylor Scott and White in Brenham.

Brenham Mayor Atwood Kenjura praised the quick response of law enforcement in preventing the suspect from striking again.

“If it wasn't for their quick action, as you could see across the street, the suspect would have backed up the vehicle, intending to get back into the vehicle,” Kenjura told reporters.

Kolkhorst, who represents the area, said none of the DPS employees were seriously injured, and one employee was trapped in the building “for a short period of time.” Ruiz said it was unclear how many of the injured were DPS employees and how many were civilians.

The Texas Rangers will handle the investigation.

The Texas Department of Public Safety is a sprawling agency and one of the largest state law enforcement operations in the nation. That includes troops at the center of a massive border security operation along the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as the Texas Rangers, the state's top crime investigators. But the department has driving license issuing offices across the state.

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