64ºF

DPS trooper in serious condition after woman admits to drinking before crash, PD says

Tuwanna Moore charged with intoxicated assault

WEBSTER, Texas – A woman arrested in connection with a Gulf Freeway crash that critically injured a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper early Monday morning is out of jail on bond.

Tuwanna Moore, 31, made her first court appearance Monday night  and posted the $100,000 bond. 

The crash happened just before 2:30 a.m. at NASA Road 1.

According to DPS officials, Trooper Chad Blackburn was in his cruiser, which was parked in the right emergency lane on I-45, when Moore slammed her car into the back of the cruiser.

Blackburn was seriously injured in the crash, officials said. He was taken to Clear Lake Regional Hospital for surgery, and was later moved to Memorial Hermann Hospital. He was last reported to be in serious condition after undergoing surgery Monday morning.

"He did have to be cut out of the car," DPS Sgt. Richard Standifer said.

Standifer said Moore's car flipped and crashed into the passenger side of the cruiser, where Blackburn was located.

Investigators said Moore, of League City, smelled of alcohol. She was taken to a local hospital and treated for her injuries.

"We are actively out here in the middle of the night to get these drunk drivers off the road," Standifer said. "When we fail to do that, we become victims, or we become nothing more than folks trying to clean this up. Clearly, the trooper was a victim in this case."

The freeway reopened to traffic just before 8 a.m.

Officials said Moore was charged with intoxicated assault causing bodily injury to a peace officer. She was being held at the Harris County Jail.

Moore appeared in court Monday night and KPRC 2 cameras were there.

Moore tried to hide her face in court, but her bandages and injuries were still visible.

"She admitted to the officer that she consumed tequila. She also admitted to driving," prosecutors said.

In court, the prosecutor said Moore's blood alcohol level was 0.29 percent. And the trooper she is accused of hitting is in bad shape.

"Trooper Blackburn has the following injuries: vertebrae fractures, multiple fractures to his pelvis, his spleen has been removed, he's also got bleeding and a collapsed lung," prosecutors said.

Investigators said the full extent of Blackburn's injuries isn't known yet. Surgery has been performed and he may need additional surgery.

According to her Facebook and LinkedIn pages, Moore works at Johnson Space Center. Her neighbors said they were shocked to hear she was involved in the crash.

Blackburn is a 10-year veteran of DPS, working in the Webster office. He is a husband and father. A DPS spokesperson told us his family is still trying to process what's happened and has asked for privacy.

DPS troopers showed up at Memorial Hermann Hospital throughout the day, showing support for Blackburn.


About the Authors: