Man, granddaughter struck by pickup

Posted 10/6/20

A Madisonville man and his two-year-old granddaughter were struck and injured by a pickup truck on West Collard Street Sept. 28 after the child ran onto the roadway at dusk, according to the Madisonville Police Department.

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Man, granddaughter struck by pickup

Posted

A Madisonville man and his two-year-old granddaughter were struck and injured by a pickup truck on West Collard Street Sept. 28 after the child ran onto the roadway at dusk, according to the Madisonville Police Department.

A Sunday Facebook post made by a family member stated the child has returned home and is doing well.

Gene Peña remained in the ICU at the time of the post awaiting surgeries. He was on a ventila-tor due to sustained brain injuries, but his neurological assessments had not worsened, accord-ing to the family member.

Peña chased after the child, who ran into the public street in front of the Collard residence, be-fore the two were both hit by the blue, 1980 GMC pickup truck, according to witnesses refer-enced in a report authored by MPD Officer J.W. Hill.

“(Redacted witness) stated he had stopped at the stop sign located at North McIver Street and West Collard Street facing west toward his residence,” Hill wrote in the report. “He visually ob-served the child run into the main traveled portion of the roadway, and then observed (Peña) chase after the child.

“(Witness) stated that he observed the vehicle approaching the pedestrians in the roadway, and began flashing his lights to get (the driver) to stop. He stated he thought (Peña) and the child were just playing, but the car never stopped.”

Hill was accompanied in the investigation by a Madison County Sheriff’s Deputy.

According to the report, the driver had recently gotten off work and was on his way to the store. Hill noted he was coherent and did not show any signs of intoxication or drug use.

MPD Police Chief Herbert Gilbert stated that Officer Hill received threats from individuals on so-cial media, calling for his job, regarding his handling of the incident, since the driver of the pickup truck was not arrested.

“I think the bottom line is that some think the driver should have gone to jail,” said Gilbert re-garding the threats. “It is not that kind of case. The driver, according to this report, is not at fault. You will hear people saying he was driving 60 miles per hour, but we have plenty of witnesses saying he was coming up to an actual stop sign.”

30 mph is the designated speed within the city of Madisonville in unmarked areas. In the report, the driver stated he was traveling 15-20 mph when he heard something hit his truck.

Upon approaching the scene, Hill wrote that he observed Peña lying on the ground just west of the parked pickup. His head and face were reportedly bleeding profusely. The child, who also suffered severe injuries and acquired a laceration on her head, was in the arms of an individual and crying.

Two women were holding Peña’s hands and later told officials in a statement that they wit-nessed him run into the road after the child.

Gene Peña was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston via CHI St. Joseph’s AirMed 12 ambulance. The child was transported to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston via AirMed 127.

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