Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Toddler killed in Gulf Freeway accident (Galveston Daily News)

Toddler killed in Gulf Freeway accident

By Chris Paschenko
The Daily News
Published July 5, 2011

DICKINSON — A toddler from McKinney died after a wreck that also injured her mother and two motorcycle riders, authorities said Monday.

Tonantzin Scarlet Gonzales-Camacho died Sunday evening, nearly two weeks before her second birthday. She was in the back seat of a 2004 Ford F150 pickup with her mother, Blanca Camacho-Tellez, 27, Dickinson police said. Authorities are investigating whether the child was in a safety seat.

The wreck involving the pickup and a 2004 Harley Davidson motorcycle occurred at 6:26 p.m. Sunday in the 3800 block of Interstate 45 North, which was congested with holiday vacationers leaving the Gulf Coast.

The motorcycle riders, Roshun Flores, 30, of Texas City, and Nicole Flores, 36, of La Marque, were taken by helicopter to the University of Texas Medical Branch. Nicole Flores was admitted under a different last name, but she was listed in serious condition. Roshun Flores was listed in good condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Gonzales-Camacho and Camacho-Tellez’s were taken to Clear Lake Regional Hospital in Webster and later transferred to Memorial Hermann, police said. Camacho-Tellez’s condition wasn’t immediately known.

The wreck occurred when the pickup lost control and struck an inside lane retaining wall in the north lanes of traffic. It then traveled across all lanes of traffic and hit the outside retaining wall, police said in a statement.

“The motorcycle slid to keep from hitting the vehicle and came to a stop against the pickup,” Dickinson police Sgt. Dean Boyd said.

The freeway was closed about three hours while authorities investigated the wreck and because of another medical helicopter’s mechanical failure, which left the chopper stranded in the main lanes.

The driver of the truck, Benjamin A. Gonzales, 21, had the same McKinney address as the mother and child. Police were investigating what caused the wreck, Boyd said.

Gonzales passed a field sobriety test performed by a state trooper, but he was arrested on a misdemeanor charge that accuses him of driving without a license, Boyd said. Gonzales remained at the Dickinson City Jail on Monday on a hold placed upon him by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Boyd said.

Gonzales willingly gave a blood sample at the police station, Boyd said. The Galveston County District Attorney’s office sent a prosecutor to the scene, and the incident would be presented to a grand jury, Boyd said.

Gonzales and front-seat passenger, Antonio Vera, 22, were uninjured, Boyd said.

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