Deputy charged with DWI after getting truck stuck in freshly poured concrete, police say

By Cory McCord - Digital News Editor, Rose-Ann Aragon - Reporter

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - A Harris County deputy was arrested late Tuesday after crashing her truck at a northwest Houston construction site, according to authorities.

Deputy Graciela Moreno, 57, told police she drank four, 16-ounce beers while watching the Astros game at a nearby bar before the crash.

An off-duty officer said he saw Moreno drive through construction barricades near the intersection of West 43rd Street and US 290 around 11 p.m.

Moreno got her truck stuck after driving through about 130 feet of freshly poured concrete, police said.

A worker used a forklift to help Moreno out of the vehicle, according to police.

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The site where Harris County deputy Grace Moreno crashed her truck at the intersection of US 290 and West 43rd Street.

Moreno was found to be impaired and was charged with DWI, police said.

Moreno is an eight-year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff's Office, and officials said she will be "immediately reassigned to administrative leave with no inmate contact and will be designated civilian status."

Moreno is due in court on Thursday.

In 2010, Moreno was charged with DWI, but the charges were dismissed after she completed an intervention program, according to court records.

The Texas Department of Transportation said the incident has caused a delay in the construction project. TxDOT said it has to repour the concrete. The damage was estimated at $2 million, according to law enforcement officials.

TxDOT said the incident caused a two-day delay in its completion. TxDOT officials said crews had to take out the damaged concrete, then prepare the site for new concrete to be poured in. The project was supposed to be completed Aug. 11, but officials said it will now be complete Aug. 13.

Meanwhile, neighbors in the area were disappointed by the delays.

"It affects people on both sides of the closure," said Dennis Scherman. "I'm sick of it."

Scherman said he also believes the deputy should have been more careful.

"It's pitiful," Scherman said.

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