It was a wintery start to New Year
New Year’s Eve brought a messy mix of wintry weather to Wilbarger County. From 4 to 8 inches of snow fell over the County, with additional accumulations of rain and ice reported.
There were few of the usual New year’s Eve alcohol -related crimes this year. VPD Captain Wayne Hodges credited the weather with limiting people getting out to party.
“We kind of got lucky with the weather in that regard, but the slick roads caused a number of accidents,” Hodges said.
In all, there were 10 accidents reported on U.S. 287 during the snow storm. The first accident was reported in Oklaunion at around 10:50 p.m. Thursday, a vehicle slid off the road at the curve and hit the bridge support.
At 5:51 a.m. Friday a 2019 Ford pickup, pulling a trailer, flipped on the Laurie Street bridge. At 6:53 a southbound vehicle spun out on the Main Street overpass and hit the cable barrier.
At 7:34 a.m., a vehicle spun out on the overpass on the railroad overpass and hit the cable barrier.
At 8:08 a.m., a vehicle slid off the road at FM 1949, and at 8:23 a.m., a semi slide off into the median and was stuck in the mud between Laurie and 1949.
At 8:25 a 2003 Ford Expedition from Colorado, pulling a U-Haul trailer, fishtailed on the Min STreet overpass and hit the cable barrier head on. Another accident was reported at the same location 30 minute later.
The final accident of the morning was a spin out on the Pease River bridge.
There were only minor injuries reported.
Capt. Hodges said a number of the vehicles hit the cable barriers and that probably lessened the severity.
“Some of them could have ended up in oncoming traffic. The barriers did their job,” Capt. Hodges said.
There was some celebrations around town. Police responded to eight calls for illegal fireworks on the New year holiday.
Pursuit ends in arrest
One reveler over the weekend ended up in jail, following a high speed chases and a fight with police.
Jose Guadalupe Mejia, 21 of Vernon, was charged with evading arrest with a vehicle and resisting arrest. He made bonds of $7,500 and $750.
At around 5:29 a.m. Sunday, a Vernon Police officer on patrol spotted a silver sports car driving recklessly in Orbison Park. The vehicle as allegedly fishtailing and doing donuts. The officer attempted to stop the car, which fled at a high speed south on Sand Road, turned left onto CR 128, crossed 283 and then turned left onto Eagle, heading back into the Vernon city limits. The pursuit covered several city streets, before the car got back on southbound Main Street, then turned back on 128, where the driver lost control.
The driver allegedly got out of the vehicle and began to fight with officers. Capt. Hodges said a Taser was deployed and it was effective in subduing the subject, who was treated by Vernon EMS and then taken to Wilbarger County jail.