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Navasota man arrested in fatal hit and run

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MONTGOMERY – Following an extensive investigation, a Navasota man, Matthew Brian Davis, 36, was arrested by Department of Public Safety Troopers for fleeing the scene of a fatal accident Nov. 5, in Montgomery.

Just after 7:30 p.m., Davis, who is a logger, was reportedly pulling away from a stop sign on Mt. Mirah Road and turned west on Texas State Highway 105. He failed to yield the right-of-way to a pickup truck driven by Gary Frank of Montgomery, who was traveling eastbound on SH 105.

Frank slammed into the rear of Davis’s 18-wheeler almost slicing completely through the truck. Davis did not stop after the accident and continued west on SH 105. Frank was pronounced deceased on scene.

Troopers began investigating and searched for video footage along SH 105. They obtained black and white video footage from a camera near the scene which showed a light-colored tractor-trailer pulling a lowboy. Footage showed the trailer being struck on the left rear of the trailer.

Additional video footage from a camera several miles from the crash scene in Stoneham, observed the white tractor-trailer pass and almost immediately apply its brakes. As he did the Trooper saw in the video there were no lights on the left side of the trailer. The truck turned south onto Farm-to-Market Road 234.

DPS issued a press release several days later with images of the truck. Grimes County Sheriff Deputy Zackry Pavlock was able to identify the truck as one he has seen in his patrol area. A Crime Stoppers tip was also reported.

Troopers located the vehicle on 4977 Tall Pine Road in Navasota. The truck appeared to be a white Volvo with wind flares and a single exhaust, as seen in the video, however the decals were missing. An investigation of the vehicle reveled a clean area where the decals had been.

Red lights shown on the top rear area of the cab as seen in the video were also no longer on the truck, but there was a clean area where they had been. Those lights are used when hauling wide loads. When questioned, Davis told Troopers he was the only one who drives the truck and stated he drove it for a logging operation on the day of the crash but had no knowledge of the crash.

A lowboy trailer was located near the truck and the trooper smelled fresh paint and spotted fresh white paint on the left side of the trailer. A piece of wood was leaning against the tires and when moved the Trooper saw the front left axle tire was shredded and severe damage was done to the wheel with a large amount of dirt packed in it. There was extensive damage under the trailer including a missing triangular anchor in which the weld marks matched the one found at the scene. Davis continued denying allegations that he was involved in a crash but refused to explain why part of the trailer was painted white and the rest of the trailer was painted black.

Davis was arrested and transported to the Montgomery County Jail, however he was transferred to the hospital for a medical condition but then returned to jail where he remains on a $50,000 bond. Davis is charged with failure to stop and render aid-accident involving death, a second-degree felony. The truck and trailer were seized as evidence by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.

Grimes County Sheriff Don Sowell said the power of media aided in the arrest of the suspect. “Deputy Pavlock saw the press release on Montgomery County Police Reporter and acted on a hunch,” explained Sowell. The area was under surveillance for several days and nights leading to the arrest. “He [Pavlock] did a great job following a hunch and working with other agencies to ensure the suspect was arrested.”