Thursday, October 7, 2010




Woman dies in wreck
Monitor Staff Reports
KAUFMAN–A Scurry-Rosser community woman died in a head-on collision on a State Highway 34 bridge crossing Kings Creek just south of Kaufman Friday.
Chasity Danielle Pierson, 22, was pronounced dead at the scene by Kaufman County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Johnny Perry, who ordered her body to be transported to the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s office for an autopsy.
According to Texas Department of Public Safety Cpl. Robert Mendez, Pierson was southbound on SH 34 in a 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer when she collided with a 2008 Dodge pickup driven by Marylee Duron (who turns 23 Oct. 12) of Kaufman.
Both women are believed to have been traveling home from work when the 6 p.m. collision occurred on the bridge, located 1.5 miles south of Kaufman, Mendez said.
“While this is an ongoing investigation, we believe driver inattention on Ms. Pierson’s part was a contributing factor,” Mendez said.
Duron struck the bridge guardrail in an apparent attempt to take evasive action, but the two vehicles collided driver’s side to driver’s side, he added. Both vehicles were destroyed in the collision.
Duron, who is pregnant, was wearing a seat belt and suffered non-incapacitating injuries, including a broken ankle. She was transported to Presbyterian Hospital in Kaufman, Mendez said.
Pierson was not wearing a seat belt, and suffered multiple serious injuries, Mendez reported. DPS Trooper Jennie Bui investigated the wreck.


Wetland center opens
Monitor Staff Reports
COMBINE–The John Bunker Sands Wetland Center is celebrating its grand opening Saturday with tours, exhibits and previews to important research being conducted within the 1,840 flooded acres of wetland on the Rosewoods Ranch.
Located south of U.S. Highway 175 via Farm-to-Market 1389, on Martin Lane outside the city of Combine, the unique habitat has been in the making for less than four years and is visible from U.S. 175 on the way to Dallas.
The center will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday for the opening. Regular hours are Monday through Friday.
The project acts as a natural water purification system, filtering water from the east fork of the Trinity River. The large levee-bordered cells slow the water’s movement and act as clarifying tanks, allowing sedimentation to settle to the bottom.
When the filtered water makes its way to the southern end of the field, it is pumped up to Lake Lavon in the north, which feeds the Trinity River, completing a cycle.
Lake Lavon is the main water source for 13 cities on the eastern side of the Dallas-Fort Worth region.
Rancher John Bunker Sands, for whom the center is named, was the grandson of the famous billionaire Bunker Hunt and the owner of Rosewoods Ranch.
Sands, who died in 2003, was an ardent supporter of holistic ranching and practiced crop and grazing rotation for his cattle, a practice that continues today as wetland cells are drained and grass grown to become grazing for cattle. Old pasture is flooded to replace the drained wetland cell.
The wetland project is the gem of Sands’ and his family’s lifelong protection of the environment.
The center is under the direction of John DeFilipo. He can be reached at (972) 474-9100.


Second bridge project to start
Special to The Monitor
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Preliminary construction work is set to begin this week on the State Highway 198 bridge at Twin Creek Lake at the southern border of Gun Barrel City.
The $21 million project will be nearly identical to the recently completed Caney Creek bridge expansion.
Concho Construction Co. out of Garland will be constructing a two-lane bridge next to the exiting one, then shift traffic to the new bridge while the original one is being replaced.
The end result will be four lanes of traffic with two lanes north and south bound running on separate parallel bridges.
“We’ve been very fortunate with our funding when it comes to bridges,” Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Larry Krantz said.
“We’ve had these State Highway 198 bridge projects ready to go as soon as funding was available, and now we’re working on the second of the three bridges,” he said.
No funding has been identified for the bridge in between Twin Creek and Caney Creek, he said.
Also this week in Henderson County, TxDOT maintenance crews are set to continue base and pavement repairs on FM 2588 south of Larue and to perform resurfacing operations on FM 2010 between FM 279 near Edom and FM 315 in Chandler.
Daytime lane closures will be in effect in each location while the work is in progress, and flaggers will control traffic.

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