Newton man arrested after unsecured lumber goes through vehicle windshield on SH 87

NEWTON COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) – A Newton man has been arrested in connection with a Dec. 19 incident in which a piece of unsecured lumber went through a vehicle’s windshield on State Highway 87 and injured the driver.

According to a press release from the Texas Department of Public Safety that was issued Saturday, Richard Wood, 68, was arrested and charged with two felony charges – failure to stop and render aid and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence – after he turned himself in to authorities.

Wood posted bail on a collective bond amount of $20,000 and was released from jail, according to a Newton County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher.

The preliminary crash report shows that Julius Hippler, 55, of Florien, La., was driving a 2019 Ford pickup north on SH 87 when the incident occurred. At the same time, a flatbed truck hauling lumber was heading south on the road.

A previous press release stated that a piece of lumber fell off the flatbed truck and struck the windshield of the pickup on the driver’s side, “causing significant damage.” The piece of lumber struck Hippler in the head, according to Sgt. Shana Clark with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Hippler was taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont for treatment of his injuries.

Saturday’s press release stated that the flatbed truck that was involved in the incident was identified as a 2011 Chevrolet flatbed. Wood allegedly failed to secure the load of lumber and fled the scene after a piece of lumber went through Hippler’s windshield.

Written by Gary Bass

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