1 dead, several injured after 18-wheeler crashed into Texas DPS office, driver arrested

1 month 1 week 1 hour ago Friday, April 12 2024 Apr 12, 2024 April 12, 2024 1:07 PM April 12, 2024 in News - Texas news
Source: CNN
By: Andy Rose and Sara Smart, CNN
A branch of the Texas Department of Public Safety in Brenham was damaged when a truck crashed into the entrance. KTRK via CNN Newsource
Originally Published: 12 APR 24 13:04 ET
Updated: 12 APR 24 16:47 ET

(CNN) — A man drove a stolen 18-wheeler into a Texas Department of Public Safety building Friday, killing one person and injuring 13 others, according to local officials.

The driver of the stolen 18-wheeler was identified as Clenard Parker, 42, from Chappell Hill, law enforcement officials said in a Friday news conference. He was uninjured and taken into custody.

Parker was denied his commercial driver’s license at the Brenham DPS office on Thursday afternoon, according to authorities and was fleeing pursuing deputies at the time of the crash.

“This is a tragic day for us,” department regional supervisor Gerald Brown said at the news conference. “My heart and prayers goes out to the family members of those that are injured, as well as those that are injured.”

Parker is facing multiple felony charges, according to authorities.

Brenham Mayor Atwood Kenjura described the incident as “a really senseless tragedy” at the news conference.

He added the suspect seemed to have been backing up with the intent of ramming the building a second time.

“Our fire chief mentioned that if he had veered a little bit to the left the second time, there would have been a collapse of that building, which would have resulted in a lot more injuries and possible death,” the mayor said.

“We believe this was a criminal act,” Washington County Sheriff Otto Hanak told CNN affiliate KHOU on Friday.

The DPS announced the arrest on X and said, “There is no further threat to the community.”

Aerial footage from CNN affiliate KTRK shows a semi with a flatbed trailer loaded with what appears to be rebar. A large gap is seen in the front of the building and the vehicle’s cab is severely damaged.

Brenham is about 70 miles northwest of Houston.

CNN’s Sara Weisfeldt and Rosa Flores contributed to this report

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