Man charged in fatal accident on Galveston Seawall

By John Brannen - Web Editor, Amanda Perez

GALVESTON, Texas - One person is dead and another has been hospitalized after an accident on the Seawall in Galveston on Sunday.

Galveston police said a red Ford pickup truck crossed over fives lanes of traffic before it hit two people who were standing in the 2300 block of Seawall Boulevard just after 7 a.m. The truck then drove over the seawall, coming to rest on the sand below.

Witnesses told police the driver had been traveling on 21st Street before he turned right on the Seawall Boulevard, picking up speed as he crossed over all of the lanes.

Police said Kevin Wade Wilson was driving the pickup. The 49-year-old is charged with manslaughter and aggravated assault. Both charges carry a combined bond of $750,000.

Wilson was transported to John Sealy Hospital for minor injuries. Authorities said Wilson is on probation for a previous narcotics conviction and they are investigating to see if he was intoxicated at the time of the accident.

Raphael Flajole, 62, died at the scene. Police said he is from Lake Orion, Michigan, and was visiting Galveston with family. Local 2 has learned Flajole is the brother of a Galveston priest and was in Texas with other family members to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his brother's ordination.

The other pedestrian, identified by Galveston police as Shane Sabala, 48, was rushed to the hospital and is listed in stable but serious condition.

Witnesses watched as a heavy-duty tow truck hoisted the Ford back to street level following the investigation.

"It's a sad, sad situation. I have been here my whole life and I think I can count on my head maybe twice I've seen that, but nothing as tragic as this. It's awful," said Kevin Martin.

The Texas Department of Public Safety and the League City Police Department assisted Galveston police at the scene.

"The combined and swift response from agencies around the county including the Galveston Police Department, Galveston Island Beach Patrol, Texas DPS and the League City Police Department, along with assistance form The Jesse Tree, a community assistance organization, is a testament to how we can come together in the face of this tragedy to serve and provide for the citizens and guests of our island," Galveston Police Chief Henry Porretto said.

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