Thursday, April 19, 2007




Pedestrian struck
Tool man hit while walking to work

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

A Tool man is in critical condition in a Tyler hospital after being struck by a truck Saturday on State Highway 274.
Ernest Aldridge, 50, was airlifted to East Texas Medical Center-Tyler around 8:30 a.m. Saturday.
He had been walking northbound along SH274 when he was struck by a northbound white Isuzu delivery truck near the Paradise Bay Motel, where he was staying.
Police didn’t know why Aldridge was walking, or where he was going, but he loved to walk and walked to his job at the M&M convenience store on the corner of SH274 and Jess Hinton Road
Tool police officer Jason McCurdy worked the accident. McCurdy identifed the driver as Alexander Krone, a Gun Barrel City resident.
Krone was making a delivery in the area.
“The case is still under investigation,” Sgt. Kendel Wellman told The Monitor.
“It’s not known why the truck left the roadway,” he said.
No charges were filed, pending the investigation, he said.
Family sources report that Aldridge loved the Lord and attended First Baptist Church in Tool.

Man shot in back
By Pearl Cantrell

Monitor Staff Writer
KEMP–A man is in serious condition following a shooting Sunday.
The Kemp Police Department responded to a call at 11:17 p.m. made from a residence at 203 Main Street in Kemp, Police Chief Richard Arnold told The Monitor.
Dustin James Streetman, 18, was airlifted to the East Texas Medical Center-Tyler with a gunshot wound to his back.
Arnold said Tuesday he was waiting to hear back from the hospital on the recovery of the slug, to see if it matched the pistol recovered by police.
Officials identified Colby Wilcotts, 19, as the shooter. Wilcotts’ driver’s license lists a Lubbock address, but he is probably a former Kemp resident, The Monitor learned.
Arnold speculated that three or four young adults were in a vehicle driving on Business 175 in Kemp when the .22-caliber pistol was discharged.
“Everything is still under investigation. We really don’t know anything for certain, yet,” Arnold said.

Bicyclist dies crossing bridge
Body fished out of lake by Tom Finley Park
Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Officials await transport for the body of Dennis Davis at the boat launch at Tom Finley Park in Gun Barrel City Friday. Davis had tried to cross the State Highway 334 bridge on a bicycle at about 11:30 p.m. the night before when he was struck. His body was found the next morning.

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

A Harbor Point resident is dead after being struck by a truck while bicycling across the bridge between Big Chief Landing and Tom Finley Park.
Dennis Wayne Davis, 52, was wearing dark clothing while riding a bicycle shortly after 11:30 p.m. Thursday, April 12.
It was reported Davis was meeting friends at Cedar Isle Restaurant and Club.
He is also believed to have been traveling in the eastbound lane, facing traffic.
Gun Barrel City police officer Dennis Wehland said Davis was struck close to the center line of the eastbound lane, and that the driver didn’t see him at all until he hit his truck and the windshield.
Robert Lee Ries Jr., 33, of Gun Barrel City was on his way home in his 2002 Ford F-150 crossing the bridge when he struck Davis.
Those who knew Davis said he rode a Mongoose bicycle that was equipped with head and rear lamps.
Following the collision, the bicycle was almost unrecognizable.
Some speculate that Davis, seeing the oncoming truck, decided to cross to the other lane to avoid being near the truck, but misjudged the closing distance of the approaching headlights.
From the side view, the bicycle would have been practically invisible.
Wehland estimates the impact sent Davis 75 feet over the bridge on the north side.
“It’s not unusual for someone in an accident like this to be thrown that far,” Wehland said.
The impact and sudden stop caused two other cars to rear-end each other behind the truck, and officials closed the bridge until 4 a.m. while they cleared the roadway and searched for Davis.
Davis’ body was located about 9:40 a.m., and Henderson County Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Dale Blaylock pronounced him dead at about 11:30 a.m.
“It’s not safe to cross these bridges as a pediestrian or on a bike,” Wehland said.
Davis was described as kind, happy and interested in others. He worked at the Bait Shop at Chief’s Landing and the recently opened Sand Bar.
The investigation is still underway, Wehland said.

Knife & Tomahawk competition
Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Wearing buckskins and a homespun shirt, 2003 Malakoff High School graduate Anna Reed, now a Huntsville resident, lets fly a knife during competition at the 8th annual Knife & Tomahawk throwing competition at Malakoff City Park Saturday. The event drew a record number of throwers, 54, despite cold and blustery weather.

Kemp names Teachers of the Year
Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
ABOVE: Kemp teachers Tracy Carter (left, High School), Jennifer Tadlock (Intermediate School) and Randal Forguson (Junior High) hold plaques naming them as the campus “Teachers of the Year” during a recognition before the Kemp School Board Tuesday. Not pictured is Primary School teacher Kathie Skaggs. AT RIGHT: Carter, the Kemp High School boys varsity basketball coach, was recognized as the school district’s “Teacher of the Year” Tuesday, and will go on to compete for the Regional “Teacher of the Year” honors.

Former deputy arrested
Monitor Staff Reports

KAUFMAN–Former Kaufman County Sheriff’s deputy Michael Johnson, 37, was arrested April 12 and charged with theft over $1,500 and under $20,000 by a public servant.
County officials took him into custody, according to a press release from the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department.
Johnson was released the same day on a personal recognizance bond.
The offense took place in the Forney area, and Johnson used his identity as a sheriff’s deputy to take money away from an individual, Sgt. Richard Gaddis said.