Stolen semi-truck is rammed into Texas DPS office

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13 Apr 2024, 6:40 am

1 dead, 13 injured after stolen semi-truck is rammed into Texas DPS office

One person was killed and 13 others were injured Friday when a stolen semi careened into a Department of Public Safety office in Brenham, Texas.

The truck was being pursued by multiple law enforcement vehicles when it crashed into the office, DPS Sgt. Justin Reese said at a news conference. The driver had been denied a commercial driver's license at the location Thursday, he said.

The suspect was identified as Clenard Parker, 42.

While he was there Thursday, "the drivers license staff advised Parker that he was not eligible to renew his commercial driver’s license," Reese said.

The person who died has not been identified publicly. Five others were hospitalized, officials said. Eight people were treated at the scene and released, they said.

Brenham Mayor Atwood Kenjura said the driver tried to back up and crash into the building again but was thwarted by first responders, preventing further tragedy.

"There would have been a collapse of that building," the mayor said at the news conference.

Several officers took the suspect into custody, Reese said. He was being held at the Washington County Jail, he said.

A Washington County Sheriff's Office deputy and possibly other law enforcement officers came across the tractor-trailer near a McDonald's not far from the DPS office, Reese said.

Multiple law enforcement units, including the deputy's, tried to stop the truck, but the driver led authorities on a pursuit on U.S. 290 headed west and then, using its loop, east, before moving toward the DPS office, he said.

"The stolen 18-wheeler took a hard right turn" into the structure, Reese said.

Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough said the incident was intentional and “done by the suspect who was denied a CDL yesterday.”

“He returned today with intent to harm. Continued prayers for the DPS staff, troopers and civilians affected,” Keough said in a Facebook post.

State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, said the familiar office is part of a common experience for the community.

“We’ve taken our children to get their drivers license there," she said at the news conference. "I’ve gotten my drivers license there. It’s a place of public service."

The helicopter video shows that the entrance of the building appears to be severely damaged.

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