Tuesday, August 09, 2005

But what they didn't say...

Floresville, TX::
A superintendent for a South Texas public school system faces drunken driving charges stemming from a fatal traffic accident that claimed the life of a 4-year-old La Vernia girl.

Donna Sue Cole, who is the superintendent of the Vanderbilt Industrial School District, has a pretrial hearing set for Aug. 18 at the Wilson County Courthouse.

Cole was behind the wheel of a 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe that struck a 1993 Ford Explorer at the intersection of U.S. 87 and F.M. 1346 in October 2003. Kristi Billings, a 25-year-old La Vernia woman, drove the Explorer into the path of the oncoming vehicle while entering the intersection from F.M. 1346, according to a report filed by the Department of Public Safety.

Cole, who was traveling south on U.S. 87, had the right of way when she crashed into the side of Billings' sport-utility vehicle. Billings' daughter, Samantha, was seated in the left rear passenger seat near the point of impact.

Investigators subsequently filed a charge of intoxication manslaughter against Cole for her role in the collision. Breath analysis indicated that Cole's blood-alcohol content was .11 percent after the collision occurred.

DPS officials turned over the results of their investigation to the 81st Judicial District Attorney's Office. The charges were never brought before a grand jury because prosecutors believed they could not prove that Cole's alcohol consumption played a significant role in the fatal accident, authorities said.

DPS officials then followed up by filing a misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated against Cole. Her legal counsel, San Antonio attorney Eduardo Garcia, filed a waiver of arraignment that was filed in the Wilson County Clerk’s office on July 5.

Cole remains employed as the superintendent of the Vanderbilt Industrial School District.
In my opinion, this woman should be nailed to the wall for driving while intoxicated.

However, you will notice that she did, in fact, have the right-of-way.

This is what they didn't say...

This is a relatively new intersection, and as soon as it opened up, everyone who lives around here could see the problem. A petition was immediately circulated, and promptly ignored.

The problem? At this point on Highway 87, the speed limit was still technically 70 mph during daylight (during which time this collision occured). FM 1346 leads directly to an elementary school. During the time that school is letting out for the day, a massive amount of traffic is fighting to get into and out of this intersection--most of which traffic is made up of vehicles carrying small children.

This intersection has two flashing lights: a yellow one for traffic on 87 and a red one for traffic on 1346.

The petition that was circulated was to try and get a real stoplight installed at this intersection.

What did they do? They put up a sign claiming that the speed limit is reduced to 55 for this area, and put some reminder bumps across the road. This intersection needs a real stoplight, not some feel-good speed limit sign and some reminder bumps.

Here's what they really didn't say...

This has not been the only collision at this intersection, nor has it been the only death, because of failure to yield right-of-way, which really means they miscalculated the speed of oncoming traffic.

This intersection needs a real stoplight, now. They got one in Sayers to handle all the traffic coming out of East Central. Why can't we have one here?

1 comment:

  1. Nice post, hi to one and all of this blog, wishing goodluck one and all, have a nice day, thank u
    california dui