Wrong-way driver killed, 2 hurt Local women flown to Houston hospital

LIVINGSTON – A Cleveland man died and two other people were seriously injured in a two-vehicle accident at approximately 1:45 a.m. Saturday on U.S. 190 West.

The deceased, 36-year-old Kris Dulaune Wells, was driving a 1999 Honda Civic eastbound in the westbound lanes of U.S. 190, about two miles west of Livingston, when he collided head-on with a 2009 Dodge Charger driven by Haley Cearly, 17, of Livingston. The Charger was westbound in the left lane of the four-lane divided highway, according to Texas Highway Patrol Trooper Allen Stanton.

The Dodge left the roadway to the right and the Honda came to rest in the grass on the opposite side of the highway. Jaws of Life equipment from the Livingston Volunteer Fire Department was used to free victims from the wreckage.

Cearly and a passenger in her vehicle, 19-year-old Maci Maddox, were transported by medical helicopter to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. Wells was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Darrell Longino. His body was taken to Pace Funeral Home.

Scam warning issued

LIVINGSTON – Warnings regarding another telephone scam targeting senior citizens are being issued by Polk County Sheriff Kenneth Hammack.

In the latest scam, a caller will contact the victims and tell them they are a relative and are being held in a jail in another state. In the scam, the "relative" needs money to bail themselves out as well as for travel and expenses.

The victim is asked to send money via Green Dot cards or Western Union and if they comply, they are never able to recoup their loss.

Hammack said the sheriff's office Criminal Investigation Division has taken several reports of fraud lately involving the scam.

The sheriff is asking the public to be aware of this fraud and be aware that is and similar scams are being sent out via both telephone and email. Area residents need be cautious when something sounds out of the ordinary.

Annual chamber banquet tickets are now available

LIVINGSTON -- The Livingston - Polk County Chamber of Commerce has announced the 79th Annual Awards Banquet will be held Thursday, Jan. 29, at the Polk County Commerce Center.

Tickets are available only at the chamber office and will be $30. Those wishing to attend will need to purchase a pass in advance, as none will be sold at the door. The Thursday program will be 6 – 8 p.m.

New Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Christi Sullivan said the awards were chosen just as they have in the past.

"We have a committee accepting nominations from anyone, it does not have to be a chamber member," Sullivan said. "The people who receive the awards do not have to be chamber members, they are people in our community who others felt have done work that would be worthy of recognition. When they are nominated, they are designated for either the Community Service Award or Polk Countian of the Year. We had a couple this year who were nominated for both, but the committee felt there was one standout for that."
The Banquet Program and Friends of the Chamber Sponsorships are still available for a limited time.
Those who have questions on sponsorships or the event, should call the chamber office (936) 327-4929.
The Polk County Commerce Center is located at 1015 Highway 59 Loop North in Livingston.

Watch for the announcement of the 2015 Award Recipients coming soon in future editions of The Polk County Enterprise.

Smuggling into jail ends with 4 arrests

LIVINGSTON – Two couples were charged last week with bringing a prohibited substance into the Polk County Jail in Livingston.

Pamela Lynn Reyes, 54, and Joseph Luke Chandler, 31, both of Livingston, and Amanda Flowers Redding, 37, and Billy Joe Spencer, 37, both of Corrigan were arrested by the Polk County Sheriff's Department Criminal Investigation Division following an investigation launched on Dec. 15, 2014.

According to Sheriff Kenneth Hammack, information was received from the jail staff regarding where the illegal substance was to have been dropped. After investigation, the substance was found and turned over to detectives.

Detectives were able to obtain video evidence and taped phone conversations between the suspects. Hammack said Chandler and Spencer were inmates in the jail and had Reyes and Redding, their spouses, drop the substances off.

After all the evidence was obtained, warrants were issued for the subjects charging them with the third degree felony of prohibited substance in a correctional facility.

Reyes and Redding were both arrested on Tuesday, Dec. 30, Spencer was arrested on Wednesday, Dec. 31, and Chandler, who has been in custody on a burglary charge since Nov. 12, was served his warrant in jail on Monday, Dec. 29.

Livingston woman injured in two-car accident


Enterprise Photo By Albert TrevinoEnterprise Photo By Albert Trevino

ONE INJURED — Donna Sack, 85, of Livingston was flown by a medical helicopter to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston after reportedly sustaining series injuries in a two-vehicle collision on New Year's Eve in Livingston. The mishap occurred shortly after noon when a 1989 Chrysler New Yorker driven by Sack attempted to turn left off of Church Street onto Willis Street and was struck by a 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup driven by Charles Delp, 49, of Livingston.

Traffic accidents send 3 to hospitals

LIVINGSTON – Three drivers were injured last week in two Polk County accidents invested by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

A 49-year-old Onalaska woman was flown to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston following a one-car accident that occurred shortly after midnight on New Years Day.

Trudy Kennedy was injured when she was ejected from the 1997 Honda Acura she was driving on Highway 190 West in Polk County.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety reports, the mishap occurred about 12:15 a.m. on Jan. 1 when the car left the roadway to the right and travelled on the grassy shoulder before striking a guardrail.

The vehicle then overturned, ejecting the driver as it flipped.

The vehicle then caught fire and burned.

The report said when DPS troopers interviewed Kennedy, they noted a strong odor of alcohol. Kennedy initially told the officers that her daughter was in the vehicle but after a lengthy search of the area by emergency personnel, no other passenger was located.

Kennedy was initially transported by ambulance to CHI St. Luke's Health Memorial-Livingston for treatment and was subsequently transferred by helicopter to the Houston hospital.

The crash remains under investigation.

In another incident, two people were injured Tuesday, Dec. 30, in a head-on collision on FM 1988 near FM 3126.

A 2006 Chevrolet Uplander, operated by 350 Cab Co. and driven by Matthew Augustine, 54, of Goodrich was northbound when it crossed the center stripe and collided head-on with a southbound 2008 Ford pickup truck driven by Moises Manrrique, 53, of Livingston, according to Texas Highway Patrol Trooper Darwon Evans.
Augustine was transported by medical helicopter to a Conroe hospital, listed with incapacitating injuries. There were no passengers in the taxi. Manrrique, listed with non-incapacitating injuries, was transported by ambulance to the Livingston hospital.

Augustine was cited for wrong side of the road not while passing in connection with the accident, which occurred at 11:15 a.m.

Also investigated was a one-vehicle accident at 12:15 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 28, on FM 2665 at Drew's Landing Road.

A 2012 Nissan Sentra driven by Zachary Darius Turner, 18, of Livingston was southbound on FM 2665 at an unsafe speed for an upcoming curve, according to Trooper Barett Duren. The car left the road at the intersection, struck a subdivision sign for Holiday Lake Estates and collided head-on with a large tree, the investigation showed.

Turner was listed as uninjured, but a passenger in the vehicle, 18-year-old Holly Rose Hunt, was transported by ambulance to the Livingston hospital with non-incapacitating injuries.

The accident report indicated no charges have been filed.