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#1 2009-04-11 21:36:20

From: 78722
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 290

Houston: "Bicyclist injured in HFD accident dies"

"Bicyclist injured in HFD accident dies" … 69324.html

Bicyclist injured in HFD accident dies
Upgraded charges possible for cited driver
Copyright 2009 Houston Chronicle
April 11, 2009, 9:16PM

Leigh Boone, 29, an executive assistant at the Houston Center for Photography, was hurt when a ladder truck hit her bicycle.

March 30 firetruck collision in Houston

The 29-year-old bicyclist who was crushed beneath a Houston Fire Department ladder truck in an accident involving two firetrucks last month died early Saturday afternoon.

Leigh Boone was pronounced dead at 12:10 p.m., said Memorial Hermann Hospital spokeswoman Alex Rodriguez.

Boone had been in critical condition for two weeks with serious head injuries she sustained when a 40-ton ladder truck toppled and crushed her bike on March 30.

Authorities found the ladder truck driver, Warren Ducote, at fault for the crash that injured 11 people. They say he ran a red light. A police official said on Saturday it was too early to tell whether Ducote would face criminal charges.

Both Houston Fire Department trucks were en route to what firefighters thought was a blaze but turned out to be a Houston public works crew smoke-testing sewer lines.

Ducote ran a red light while headed northbound on Dunlavy and was broad-sided by a pumper truck westbound on Westheimer.

Investigators determined that the pumper truck had a green light.

Boone worked as an executive assistant at the Houston Center for Photography before her death.

In a series of interviews after the crash, family and friends described her as a "happy" and "talented" woman. She graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in theater arts.

"She's a real people person. She's never met a stranger. That's why she has so many friends in the Monntrose area," said her brother George Boone.

Family and friends were gathered around her when she died, according to a family Web site that has been chronicling her ordeal.

On a page dedicated to Boone, friends mourned Boone's passing.

"This is devastating. If anyone could have pulled through this, it would have been Leigh. I am so deeply, deeply sorry," wrote Casey Radle from Austin. … 570f4.html

Fire engine crash victim dies from injuries
10:42 PM CDT on Saturday, April 11, 2009
By Kevin Reece and Rucks Russell / 11 News

HOUSTON -- The 29-year-old victim of a double fire engine crash has died, according to family members.

Doctors at Memorial Hermann declared Leigh Boone brain dead on Saturday morning and she was removed from life support.  Her body has now been taken to the Medical Examiner's Office for a final autopsy.

Boone was injured on March 30 when two Houston fire trucks collided on the way to a call.

The victim was on her bicycle at the intersection of Dunlavy and Westheimer when, according to police, HFD Ladder Truck 16 headed north on Dunlavy ran a red light.  It was broadsided by Fire Truck 7 which was travelling west on Westheimer.  The collision spun the ladder truck onto its left side, crushing Boon underneath the rig and crushing the hood of a passenger car.

Both fire engines were responding to the same 911 call which had reported a fire near a building on San Felipe. The fire turned out to be city workers conducting a smoke test on sewer lines:  a non-emergency.

Boone's injuries included a blood clot on her brain which doctors removed in emergency surgery, but despite numerous medications and procedures the pressure in her brain never decreased.

Her family says that doctors brought her out of a two-week medically induced coma in the past 24 hours to conduct the final tests for brain activity.  They found none.

Boone's friends say they can't believe she's gone.

"She's the most genuine and amazing person I will ever know," said Rachel Hewlett, a friend of the victim's.

Friends say Boone rode her bicycle almost everywhere she went. She had just begun a full time job at the Houston Center for Photography. She also worked at a dress boutique.

"It's hard because we're in the neighborhood. When you see someone everyday, it's like they become a part of your family," said Cristino Castillo, Boone's friend.

Funeral plans and a memorial in the Montrose area where she lived and worked are pending. There is also some talk of starting a scholarship in Boone's name so that the 29-year-old won't be forgotten.


#2 2009-06-03 13:54:11

Registered: 2009-06-03
Posts: 1

Re: Houston: "Bicyclist injured in HFD accident dies"

Warren Ducote the driver of Ladder 16 has been blamed in the media for the accident before the investigation ever began. This may not be the case. Since then there have been a few revelations concerning the collision between Ladder 16 and Engine 7

#1 - Engine 7 did change the Opticom system turning Ladder 16's light from green to red. The investigating police officer confirmed the Opticom did time stamp. It was also discovered during the investigation by HFD that the Engine needed to be within 60 feet of the Opticom to activate. There was no Opticom in the direction of the ladder truck. Only the engine had an Opticom in its direction of travel. No one on either apparatus was aware that the Opticom system was only in one direction.

#2 - The lady in the white car after hiring an attorney stated that she was waiting at the red light and that the ladder truck ran the red light. After this statement was broadcast on local TV, both crew members on Ambulance 33 (the ambulance that transported this lady to the hospital) have both confirmed that this same lady on the day of the accident said that the ladder truck had a green light and that she had held up short of the light to give the ladder truck plenty of room to maneuver. If you look at the pictures of the accident scene, you will find that the white car is definitely several feet away from the intersection. Why would she be waiting at a red light this far from the intersection?

#3 – The HFD Office of Emergency Communications after downloading the GPS tracing information found that the Ladder 16 was traveling at 18 mph at the time of the collision.
This is 12mph below the speed limit.

#4 - The HFD Office of Emergency Communications after downloading the GPS tracing information found that Engine 7 was traveling at 52 mph before the time of the collision. This is 22 mph above the speed limit. HFD Rules and Regulations allow an emergency apparatus to exceed the speed limit by 10 mph. The speedometer on the Engine 7 froze at 46mph at the time of impact indicating some braking was applied.

#5 – At the above speeds and closure rates and the location of both apparatus at the time of impact, it could possibly be proven that Ladder 16 was already in the intersection before the Opticom system activated.

HFD has not yet finished its investigation.

Last edited by rjl67 (2009-06-03 13:56:35)


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