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2012 Starts Out Deadly on Houston's Roads

Drive better, Houston.

The first two days of 2012 saw four fatal traffic accidents, three of them on or near the Loop.

Two occurred in the early morning hours of January 1, meaning they were probably New Year's Eve-related, but still: That's way too much dying going on.

The deaths included a drunk guy trying to cross the highway, a hit-and-run where the driver stopped to check on the victim before driving away, and possibly a bizarre death on the West Loop near the Galleria.

In addition, a Montgomery County woman was killed while returning from her 45th birthday party after she pulled over to help someone change a flat on the highway and was struck by a passing car.

The accidents:

-- At 1:35 a.m. Sunday, a 32-year-old man pedestrian died in the 10600 block of Stanhope near 59 and the West Sam Houston Tollway. Police say he was hit by a black Cadillac Escalade.

"The Escalade then made a U-turn, stopped near the victim for a brief moment, and then continued westbound on Stancliff," HPD says. Anyone with information in this case is urged to contact the HPD Hit and Run Unit at 713-247-4065 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

-- At 4 a.m. Sunday, a 29-year-old woman who was a passenger in a Honda Accord died when the 33-year-old driver drove into a tree in the median of Stella Link south of the South Loop. The driver remains hospitalized.

-- At 6:50 p.m. Sunday, a 34-year-old man who Houston police say was intoxicated tried to cross the South Loop East a bit west of Telephone Road. He was hit by a pickup truck; the driver remained on the scene.

-- At 3 p.m. Monday, the 50-year-old driver of a Cadillac DeVille hit the retaining wall of the Westheimer exit off the northbound West Loop.

"It is believed that after the accident, the victim exited the Cadillac and either jumped or fell from the elevated exit roadway onto the Southwest Freeway (South U.S. Highway 59) exit connector ramp to the West Loop South southbound," HPD says.

Jumped?

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There are no witnesses to the accident, police say.

By the way, Texas Watchdog has put together an interactive map of the nine Texas places where DPS troopers issue the most tickets.


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