Thursday, April 6, 2006


Woman dies in one-car wreck
Excessive speed blamed
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–One young woman is dead and another is in critical condition following a one-car accident on Kaufman County Road 4019 Friday.
“It’s the fifth crash here in 15 years, and two were this past year,” Cornelia Grange told The Monitor.
The white convertible driven by 22-year-old Jennie Vaughn hit first one tree – got turned around – and then wrapped around a second double-trunked tree at the flanking the end of Grange’s driveway.
“I never did see a car worser tore up than that one. There wasn’t one piece of that car that wasn’t tore up,” Grange said.
It took nearly two hours for emergency personnel to cut 26-year-old Ronnie Hopper Jr. out of the passenger’s front seat on the tree side of the car, she related.
Hopper and Vaughn were flown to the East Texas Medical Center in Tyler. Hopper was listed in fair condition.
Vaughn underwent surgery Monday to insert a stint into her neck, following injuries to her neck and a major artery from the force of the seat belt restraint, it was reported.
The posted speed on CR 4019 is 30 mph, but no one ever travels at that speed on the bumpy, narrow but straight road, Grange said.
The second passenger, 22-year-old Tifany “Tess” Howell, sitting in the back without a seat belt, was flung from the back seat through the open canopy, landing on the other side of the two-trunked tree.
“It was obvious that she died instantly,” Granger said. “We were out there as soon as we heard the crash and reached her no later than a minute after it happened. There was no doubt.”
The crash occurred just as darkness was beginning to fall, she said. The car was probably returning home after picking up a few groceries, as these were strung out in the ditch beside the road. A shoe was found 50 feet away in Grange’s yard.
Howell’s funeral service was held Wednesday at the Cedar Creek Bible Church in Seven Points, where she was a member.
Howell had been raised by her grandmother, Pat Howell, who described the young woman as her “best friend.”
She graduated from Kemp High School in 2003. She also held a purple belt in karate, and enjoyed roller skating on Friday nights at her church.

Man not dead in rollover
Monitor Staff Reports
SEVEN POINTS–A young man is not dead after rolling his car on State Highway 274 near Cap City.
Details were sketchy at presstime, but it was reported he was at Michael’s briefly and asked to leave after a confrontation with another patron.
His vehicle spun out of the parking lot, kicking up gravel as he traveled north toward Kemp around midnight Saturday night. Soon afterwards, he lost control of his vehicle.
Officials had not released the man’s name by presstime.
However, it was learned the young man was a classmate of Tess Howell, who had died in a fatal one-car crash the day before.

Freak mishap leaves man dangling
Lake-area resident gashed while installing glass eight floors up
By Becki Brantley
Monitor Correspondent

   DALLAS–A Cedar Creek Lake area resident was rushed to Baylor Hospital in Dallas Friday when he was severely injured in a freak accident.
Robert Chewning, one of a crew working for a glass business out of Crandall, was installing a large pane of heat-strengthened glass on a commercial building when the pane leaned outward, cutting his rope.
   Chewning fell one floor, continuing to hold onto a suction cup on the glass, until his safety rope caught.
   The jerk of the rope caused the glass to fall against the building, and it broke into several large pieces which then fell on Chewning, severing tendons in his hands and arm, and lacerating his head.
The safety straps cut off his circulation, causing him to be unable to move, but this also saved his life by keeping him from bleeding to death.
   A Dallas fire crew appeared on the scene, but the ladder didn’t reach high enough and they had some difficulty deciding how to get to him.
   Finally, one of the glass crew, Kevin Spivey, suggested breaking the 7th floor window next to where Chewning had dropped, and pulling him in.
   Spivey also received minor injuries which required no treatment.
   Owners of the glass business (who wished to remain unnamed) claimed they had been in the business for more than 20 years and “have never seen an accident like this.”
   According to his wife Cristy, Chewning received 73 staples in his arm and many stitches in his hands.
   He will require surgery to repair the tendons in his hands, and an orthopedic surgeon will rebuild his tricep and forearm.
   While Robert Chewning was in the hospital, Cristy Chewning said four good friends – Mike Slaydon, Mike Hobgood, Adrian Mormon and Gary Fulton – spent their weekend clearing the land he had been preparing for installing a new home.
   “We just want to thank everyone who has helped us,” Cristy Chewning said. “The people at Baylor Hospital were awesome. Robert is so loved, and we have really been blessed. Robert’s employers have gone beyond measure to make sure all expenses are covered, and we have everything we need.”
   Chewning will require some physical therapy, but plans to be back to work in the glass business just as soon as he is able.