Two LifeFlight helicopters transported three injured accident victims and one man died at the scene. One very lucky driver walked away.
Sergeant John Coleman of the Dayton Police Department was on the scene, with many other first responders, at a three vehicle fatality accident that shut down SH 146 Friday afternoon, around 3:30 p.m. According to Sergeant Coleman "The driver of a tan Ford Ranger was traveling southbound on SH 146 and veered into oncoming traffic. A white Chevy truck was driving northbound and was struck, head-on, by the Ford Ranger. The two trucks turned sideways, on impact, and were hit by a third truck, a black Chevy."
The black Chevrolet was driven by Keith Andrew Broom, 24, of Woodville, employed in the petroleum industry. His truck split the other two vehicles apart sending them to opposite sides of the highway.
Broom was visibly shaken, but said "I knew I could not avoid hitting them, so I chose to hit the engines of the two trucks, avoiding any passenger areas." Broom walked away from the accident with what appeared to be minor scratches.
The driver of the Ford Ranger, Jose Pons Irizarry, 71, of Baytown, died at the scene. Three passengers of the white truck, Chad Fregia, 37, Melissa Fregia, 32 and Bradley Fregia, 2, (who had been returning from a fishing expedition), were transported by two LifeFlight helicopters, to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. A Dayton volunteer firefighter, David Rogers, commented, "There were fish thrown all over the road."
The accident occurred on SH 146, just south of the construction area at the FM 1413 intersection. According to Dayton Police Sargeant Doug O'Quinn "Mr. Irizarry did not have a seatbelt on." All the drivers and passengers who survived were wearing seatbelts.