LA MARQUE, Texas – A Texas City grandfather was killed Sunday night in a fiery crash caused by an alleged car thief.
Howard Lane, 57, was on his way to pick up his wife at work around 10 p.m. when his truck was struck from behind by a speeding car in the 200 block of Hwy. 3 near FM 1765 in La Marque.
Both vehicles burst into flames.
Lane was trapped in the wreckage and pronounced dead at the scene.
He was the stepfather of nine children and the grandfather of 30. His large family gathered at his home Monday to console one another.
“I just think that it’s unfair,” his stepdaughter Mena Norman said, fighting back tears. “We just want justice because just for a stupid decision of stealing a car, he ended up taking a life and destroying a family.”
According to La Marque police, Valentina Demon Jones-Brown, 26, of Texas City, was behind the wheel of a stolen car when he slammed into Lane’s truck.
Jones-Brown had been taken to Mainland Center Hospital for a mental health evaluation earlier that evening. Police said Jones-Brown walked out of the hospital and forced two women out of their car in the parking lot.
According to police, he hit one of the women with the car as he drove away. Police describe her injuries as minor.
Brown sped south on Highway 3.
He hit Lane’s truck just south of the intersection of Hwy. 3 and FM Road 1765, police said.
Jones-Brown managed to crawl out of the wrecked car and was arrested at the scene by Texas City police.
He is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Jones-Brown is being held in the Galveston County jail on a $80,000 bail.
Here is Lane's obituary:
"Howard Paul Lane II, passed away Sunday, June 4 in La Marque, TX.
"A public visitation celebrating his life will be held Thursday, June 8, 2017 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 3114 77th St. Galveston, TX 77551 beginning at 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.
"Graveside services will be Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 3 p.m. at Crestview Memorial Park Wichita Falls, TX.
"Howard was born August 24, 1959, in Wichita Falls to Howard Paul and Lenore Lane. He attended schools in Wichita Falls and Technical School in Waco. He was a current employee for Galveston ISD and had previously worked at Moody Gardens in Galveston.
"He is survived by his wife, Gregoria Rios Lane; sister, Linda Watson; son, Jonathan Lane and wife Cori from Brundridge, AL; his stepchildren are Antonio (Sonia) Salgado, Balbina Courville (Wayne Carrol), Maria F Yeh, Facunda Nava, Mena Norman, Reynaldo Nava, Juan (Endina) Barrera and Maria Barrera (Luis Cervantes) Isidra Molina; grandchildren; great grandchildren; special cousin, Joan (Jim) Uncapher and many other relatives and friends.
"Services are being provided by Carnes Funeral Home 3100 Gulf Freeway Texas City, TX 77591. Memorials may be sent to the funeral home."