A Cut and Shoot man was recently convicted in a 2019 hit-and-run case where the victim was struck while she was on her driveway, leaving her hospitalized and struggling to walk.
Shannon Chandler Gaspard, 27, was sentenced Aug. 9 to seven years probation for the third-degree felony offense of accident involving serious injury. Gaspard’s sentencing was handed down by presiding 435th District Court Judge Patty Maginnis following his guilty plea in the case, district clerk records show.
Gaspard was ordered to pay victim Rhonda Sharber Clark an $800 monthly restitution for the duration of his probation. He was also ordered to serve 180 days of jail with no credit for time already served, according to court documents.
In the morning of Sept. 15, 2019, Gaspard’s Hyundai Tucson struck Clark on the driveway of her Conroe home when, as he later admitted to law enforcement, he was falling asleep driving back home, according to a probable cause affidavit filed Dec. 10, 2019 by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Gaspard said he was with friends the night before the crash, drinking alcohol and smoking half a marijuana cigarette. He said he hit a mailbox and drove off after he woke up, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Clark was found lying on the ground by a passerby who noticed what resembled a body before turning back around, the affidavit details.
Tire tracks “appeared to have left the roadway, entered the grass ditch, drove across driveway, struck mailbox and then entered back onto the roadway,” read the affidavit’s description of the crime scene.
But Gaspard insisted he was unaware his car had hit someone, and he was planning on returning to the crash site to offer to pay for property damage. He first came forward Sept. 16, 2019 talking to DPS troopers about his possible involvement after he read about the crash, saying the vehicle matched his, according to the affidavit.
Gaspard, however, withheld providing more information until Sept. 26, 2019 when he and his lawyer spoke with a DPS trooper, the affidavit continued.
“Oh crap, hit something,” Gaspard told the detective he said after the crash, according to charging documents.
Though Gaspard reached out to officers, law enforcement was already on his trail. DPS troopers identified the vehicle in the crash as a Hyundai Tucson from between 2004 and 2008, with 41 such cars registered in Montgomery, Liberty and San Jacinto counties, charging documents show.
Clark was about to go on her daily jog when she was a victim of the hit and run, her brother James Sharber told The Courier in a Sept. 23, 2019 article. The then 42-year-old mother of two and office coordinator was found in a ditch with broken legs, a shattered pelvis and cracked ribs, Sharber detailed in the story.
Clark, who lost 65 pounds following six months of exercise and other health changes, was expected to have a long recovery ahead of her, Sharber added in the story.
“You must’ve been doing something you didn’t want to get caught doing,” Sharber said in the story when discussing who the then unidentified driver could have been.
As of Nov. 25, 2019, Clark was unable to walk, was recovering from multiple surgeries and expected more such procedures. She said she was in constant pain from the injuries she sustained, according to court documents.
“Rhonda Clark’s life will never be the same because of the choices of Shannon Gaspard. The strength and determination Rhonda has shown in her recovery is nothing short of amazing,” said Andrew James, vehicular crimes chief prosecutor at the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office. “I’m grateful to the DPS troopers for their thorough work in solving this case. Shannon Gaspard is now a convicted felon and will spend the next seven years working to pay Rhonda back for his crime.”
Gaspard’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment.
Written by Jose R. Gonzalez
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