According to the Houston Chronicle, a 68-year-old man is facing multiple intoxication manslaughter charges in connection with a tragic auto accident in Houston that left a family of four dead Sunday afternoon.
Details of the Fatal Crash
Preliminary reports state Ronald Cooper was driving a 2011 Hyundai Axera westbound along Texas 105 when he rear-ended the family’s Toyota. The force of the collision caused the Toyota to lose control and spin into oncoming traffic.
A Jeep Wrangler traveling eastbound attempted to avoid the Toyota Echo, but was unable to. The Jeep struck the Toyota on its passenger side and both the Jeep and the Toyota overturned, coming to rest on their sides.
All four occupants of the Toyota were pronounced dead at the scene. They have been identified as Roland Sedlmeier, 49, Melinda Sedlmeier, 42, Harley Sedlmeier, 6, and Sofie Sedlmeier, 4. The two occupants of the Jeep, ages 15 and 16, sustained minor injuries.
Cooper has been charged with four counts of intoxication manslaughter and two charges of intoxication assault. A relative of Cooper’s, however, alleges the man was not intoxicated, but was affected by a new prescription drug he was taking for a blood clot.
Texas Auto Accident Statistics
The following information was provided by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT):
- 3,534 people were killed in traffic accidents in Texas in 2014 – a 3.7-percent increase from the 3,408 deaths recorded in 2013.
- 581 deaths were attributed to head-on collisions in 2014.
- 1,041 fatalities were linked to collisions that involved a driver that was under the influence of alcohol.
- An additional 237,941 people were injured in auto accidents with 17,152 people reporting serious injuries.