GALVESTON, Texas - A Texas City commissioner was charged Monday in connection with a crash that killed two people near the Galveston Causeway Bridge.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Dee Ann Haney was charged with two counts of intoxicated manslaughter. Haney is the commissioner-at-large for Texas City.
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Troopers said Haney’s white Ford pickup sideswiped a man and his son who had stopped their black Toyota Tacoma pickup on the northbound side in the 8400 block of I-45 Gulf Freeway.
According to court documents, Hong Le, Duoc Le and Thanh Nguyen had pulled over to the right shoulder to tie down Plexiglas that was in the bed of their truck. They had just repaired a broken window at a building.
Both Hong Le, 32, and Duoc Le, 58, who were on the driver's side of the pickup in the shoulder, were hit by Haney, investigators said.
The father and son died at the scene.
"They pulled over as far as they could before the grass drops off. They were barely on the shoulder of the roadway. Being on the shoulder of the roadway is never a safe spot to be, but it looked like they tried to make best of the situation they had to assure they could proceed safely," said Captain Joshua Schirard, with the Galveston Police Department.
Duoc and Hong were Thanh Nguyen's brother-in-law and nephew, respectively. Nguyen said he witnessed the incident.
"It was just a big old bang and, you know, shaking up the truck real badly," Nguyen said.
He said the three of them had been trying secure Plexiglass on Nguyen's Ford Tacoma for safety.
"You sacrifice for doing that by losing two family members," Nguyen said.
The Le's family moved to Houston from Vietnam two years ago, family members told KPRC2. Hong was studying for his MBA at the University of Houston-Clear Lake.
Investigators said Haney stopped further down the road.
Court documents said troopers performed field sobriety tests, and police said Haney displayed signs of being impaired during those tests.
Texas City Commissioner-At-Large Dee Ann Haney is seen in this undated image from the Texas City, Texas government website. (texas-city-tx.org)
Haney, 54, was charged after she was taken to a local hospital for a blood test.
Haney posted $100,000 bond. She left jail early Monday afternoon. She is required to install a Breathalyzer in her car and cannot go to bars or establishments that primarily serve alcohol.
Texas A&M University Galveston issued a statement that read, "We learned this morning an employee of Texas A&M at Galveston, Dee Ann Haney, was involved in a vehicle accident last night that resulted in two deaths. Our deepest condolences go to the families of those who lost their lives."
All lanes of the freeway reopened just after 4 a.m.
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