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One killed; first responders injured in collision

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    Special to The Examiner

A local woman lost her life in a single vehicle crash early Sunday, Nov. 3, and two first responders were injured by a drunk driver while responding to that incident.

Porscha Crawford, 31, of Navasota was traveling southbound on Texas State Highway 6, 9-miles south of Navasota when her vehicle left the roadway. Department of Public Safety Sergeant Jimmy Morgan said Crawford who was driving a 4-door Chevrolet, was ejected from her vehicle and pronounced deceased by Judge Lester Underwood at 1:10 a.m. The cause of that crash is still under investigation.

Grimes County Sheriff Don Sowell said when the responding deputies and troopers arrived, Deputy Swank Backhus realized Crawford was one of his former classmates from Navasota High School. While the investigation was being conducted by DPS Troopers, Backhus was stationed behind the accident to warn and slow down vehicles traveling around the scene. Navasota firefighter David Kearney was also assisting with traffic control and posted near Backhus.

“A vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed failed to yield to the emergency lights and struck the back of Backhus’s patrol vehicle ejecting him and pushed the vehicle into Kearney barely missing Trooper Gallo,” stated Sowell.

The driver of the vehicle was identified as Avery Jimenez, 20, of Katy, and was suspected to be intoxicated. He sustained a broken arm and was treated and released at the hospital and then booked into the Grimes County Jail on two counts of intoxication assault and possession of marijuana.

Backhus and Kearney were treated at the scene and later transported to Scott and White Hospital in College Station. Both were later released with nonlife-threatening injuries.

“This is a classic example of the dangers that law enforcement, first responders, wrecker drivers and of course highway construction workers endure while performing their missions on public highways,” said Sowell. “I see this as a perfect example that God and his Guardian Angels were on their posts that night protecting our first responders. As bad as the situation was, there is no doubt it could have had more tragic results. This was preventable as is usually the case, but when impaired and irresponsible drivers take to the road and make bad decisions, innocent people are destined to be placed in harm’s way.”

Sowell said thoughts and prayers are with the Crawford family as they mourn her tragic passing.

Jimenez was released from Grimes County Jail after posting $32,000 bail.