Truck slams into Texas public building, killing one, injuring over a dozen

By Thomson Reuters Apr 12, 2024 | 4:45 PM

By Rich McKay

(Reuters) – An 18-wheel truck with a loaded flatbed slammed into a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) building on Friday, killing one person and injuring more than a dozen others in what a county judge said was a deliberate act.

“This incident was intentional and done by the suspect who was denied a CDL yesterday,” said Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough said in a Facebook post, referring to a commercial driver’s license or CDL. “He returned today with intent to harm.”

Images online showed a tractor-trailer with a crushed cab in the parking lot of the DPS building in Brenham, Texas, about 75 miles (120 km) northwest of Houston, with a wall of the brick building smashed in and debris strewn about the area.

The building houses offices of the state department that includes the Texas Rangers police force and the motor vehicle agency.

Brenham, with about 18,000 residents, is in Washington County, which borders on Montgomery County. In Texas, the county judge is one of the highest elected official in each jurisdiction.

The crash resulted in 13 injuries in addition to the one fatality, the DPS said at an afternoon press conference.

The driver, identified by DPS as Clenard Parker, 42, was in custody and described as a suspect.

Parker was arrested at the scene by several officers who pulled him from the truck’s cab. He was uninjured, a DPS spokesman told the press conference, adding that the truck had been reported stolen.

It was unclear if Parker had an attorney representing him.

Few other details were available on Friday afternoon, but DPS officials said that the Texas Rangers were investigating the incident.

(Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Sandra Maler)