Pasture fire threatens home


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Decatur Fire Department, Newark Fire Department and Boyd Volunteer Fire Department responded to a pasture fire threatening a structure on Private Road 4379 between Decatur and Boyd this morning.

David Lambert said he had been raking and baling hay for the owner of the property when the hay baler caught on fire. The fire then spread to several hay bales and across the pasture, burning between two to three acres, according to Boyd VFD Captain Shane McNelly.

The fire then spread to the residence on the property, burning a portion of the garage before Decatur FD put it out.

The owner of the property, who requested his name be withheld, said most of what burned was marginal.

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Car chase ends in arrest


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Decatur Police Department, Wise County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Public Safety were involved in a car chase that ended in the arrest of Israel Trey Rodriguez, 21, in Decatur this afternoon.

Decatur Officer Keith Hilton responded to a call from Rodriguez’s girlfriend, who claimed Rodriguez, a Bridgeport resident, told her he was coming to her home to kill her. After Hilton arrived at the girlfriend’s home, Rodriguez pulled onto the road. Seeing Hilton, he turned his car and fled.

The various law enforcement agencies gave chase as Rodriguez headed north on U.S. 81/287 toward Alvord, before turning around and back south to Decatur. The chase snaked through downtown Decatur before ending on Business U.S. 81/287 south of Carson Elementary. Wise County Sheriff’s Patrol Lt. Art Ferguson said officers tried to use spikes to stop the car three times during the chase, but Rodriguez managed to evade. At the scene of his arrest, Rodriguez appeared agitated and screamed at detectives, demanding for them to talk to him.

Rodriguez is currently in the custody of Decatur PD. Decatur Sgt. Gerald Wright said Rodriguez will be charged with evading arrest, resisting arrest and making a terroristic threat.

Prior to today’s incident, Rodriguez was awaiting trial for interfering with an emergency call in June.

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Boyd to shut off water, issues boil notice


The Boyd Public Works Department will shut off water to most of the city at midnight Friday to repair a six-inch water line that ruptured along Farm Road 730 near Texas 114. The Highland Oaks development will not be affected by the outage. The repair is expected to take less than four hours with water service restored by 4 a.m. The city has issued a boil water notice from Friday through the weekend. The notice is expected to be rescinded Monday after getting clearance from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

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Head-on wreck injures 1


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Two pickups collided at a bend on Old Decatur Road roughly two miles from Farm Road 730 just before 2:15 Wednesday afternoon.

DPS Trooper Robert Carson said a southbound white Ford work truck driven by a 60 year old male from Decatur failed to give one half of the roadway to an oncoming white Chevrolet work truck driven by a 44 year old male, also from Decatur.

“The driver of the Ford stated that he had looked down to check his notes and when he looked back up is when the collision happened,” Carson said. “He couldn’t remember much besides that.”

The southbound Ford driver, who identified himself as Kyle Stephens, appeared uninjured at the scene. Firefighters had to cut the northbound driver out of his truck. He was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth via helicopter according to Trooper Carson.

Trooper Carson could not confirm the name of the injured driver.

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IDs released in fatal accident


Karyn Peterson, 53, of Paradise was killed in the three-vehicle accident on Texas 114 between Boyd and Paradise Saturday morning.

Department of Public Safety Sgt. Lonny Haschel Sunday released Peterson’s name, as well as the others involved in the crash.

Peterson was driving a Ford Escape east on 114 near the 51 exit to Springtown when, for unknown reasons, she veered into the westbound lane. DPS Trooper Jeremy Pope said the passenger car sideswiped a westbound Chevrolet pickup driven by Treva Anderson, 47, of Boyd. The pickup went into a side skid and came to rest in the middle of the road, facing east.

After the Escape struck the pickup, it continued across the westbound lane and was hit by a GMC Yukon, pulling two Sea-Doos. The Yukon was driven by Russell Hightower, 29, of Springtown.

The impact split the Escape in two with one half landing in the creek below the roadway. Peterson was pronounced dead on scene by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Craig Johnson. There were no passengers in her vehicle.

Trooper Pope said a passenger in the pickup, Wade Anderson, 49, of Boyd, was transported to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur with injuries. He was treated and released. The Anderson’s teenage daughter was also in the pickup, but she and her mother were not injured.

Hightower and Yukon passenger Autumn Hightower, 25, of Springtown were treated and released from Wise Regional.

In addition to troopers, Boyd Fire Department, sheriff’s deputies and Wise County medics were called to the scene. The highway was shut down for almost three hours. It re-opened at 12:20 p.m.

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91-year-old killed in tractor accident


A 91-year-old man was killed in a tractor accident on property off Farm Road 2048, southwest of Boyd, Saturday night.

Forrest Bailey routinely took his tractor out and usually returned to the house at dark, according to Captain Kevin Benton with the Wise County Sheriff’s Office. When he didn’t return at the expected time Saturday, his wife called a family member who began looking for Bailey. He was found in the pasture pinned beneath the tractor. Emergency responders were called to the scene just after 10:30 p.m.

Benton said according to a family member, there was a piece on the tractor that regularly vibrates loose, and it wasn’t uncommon for Bailey to get off the tractor to tighten it. The piece was missing Saturday night.

Benton said investigators believe Bailey got off the tractor while it was in low gear and was run over by the piece of machinery.

“It’s a bad, bad accident,” Benton said.

Bailey’s body was sent to the Dallas County Medical Examiners for an autopsy.

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Woman killed in 3-vehicle accident


The passenger in the GMC Yukon was transported to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. The driver was uninjured. Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

The passenger in the GMC Yukon was transported to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. The driver was uninjured. Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

A woman was killed in a three-vehicle accident on Texas 114 between Boyd and Paradise just before 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

She was driving a passenger car east on 114 near the 51 exit to Springtown when, for unknown reasons, she veered into the westbound lane. Department of Public Safety Trooper Jeremy Pope said the passenger car sideswiped a westbound Chevrolet pickup. The pickup went into a side skid and came to rest in the middle of the road, facing east.

After the passenger car struck the pickup, it continued across the westbound lane and was hit by a GMC Yukon, pulling two Sea-Doos. The impact split the car in two with one half landing in the creek below the roadway.

The driver of the car was pronounced dead on scene by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Craig Johnson. There were no passengers in the car.

Trooper Pope said the driver of the pickup was transported to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur with injuries. The driver’s wife and daughter were also in the vehicle but were uninjured.

The driver of the Yukon was uninjured, but a passenger in the vehicle was transported to Wise Regional.

Pope had not released the names of anyone involved as of noon Saturday. There were a total of six people in the accident, and Pope and Trooper Patrick Garcia were working to confirm their identities.

In addition to troopers, Boyd Fire Department, sheriff’s deputies and Wise County medics were called to the scene. The highway was shut down for almost three hours. It re-opened at 12:20 p.m.

More information will be posted as it’s available.

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Pilot injured in crash


imageA small plane crashed Sunday afternoon a mile west of Chico, injuring the pilot.

Harold Love, 64, of Bridgeport was taken by ground ambulance to Harris Methodist in Fort Worth with back pain.

Love was the lone passenger of the 1970s model plane.

Love and another plane were headed to get fuel. When the pilot of othe plane saw no sight of Love, he circled around and found Love and the plane in a field 250 yards south of County Road 1640.

“The buddy circling over head found him,” said Department of Public Safety Trooper Ralph Wallace. “He’d been sitting there for an hour.

Medics and firefighters were called to the scene shortly after 6 p.m.

Wallace said Love was alert and complaining of back pain.

Wallace added that the National Transportation Safety Board would investigate crash.

 

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1 killed in early morning accident


A Wise County resident was killed in a two-vehicle head-on collision on Farm Road 730 south of Decatur around 2:15 Thursday morning. Department of Public Safety Trooper Greg Reyero said a passenger car was southbound on FM 730 when it entered the northbound lane and struck a pickup truck hauling a trailer. The car driver died at the scene. The pickup driver, Wesley Moss, 34, of Paradise was taken to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. The car driver’s name is being withheld until notification of next of kin.

Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

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Wreck injures 2


Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Two people were taken to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur Wednesday following a vehicle collision in south Wise County. Department of Public Safety Trooper Jeremy Pope said a passenger car driven by Lonny Cheney was turning southbound from Farm Road 2048 onto Farm Road 51 South near Boyd when he collided with a northbound SUV driven by Linsdsey Robison. Both vehicles sustained major damage, and Boyd Volunteer Fire Department and Wise County EMS responded. Cheney and Robison were both taken to the hospital. The accident happened around 8:40 a.m.

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Rau sentenced to life for murder


Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

It took a Wise County jury less than 20 minutes Friday morning to deliver their sentence of life in prison to Kris Rau for the murder of his girlfriend. The jury also assessed a $10,000 fine. Both were the maximum sentence that could be given for the charge of murder. Following the trial, children of the victim, Lianne Murray, were given a chance to speak directly to Rau. “You showed no remorse, and I’m glad the jury showed you no compassion,” said Murray’s daughter, Allisyn Ramirez. Murray’s son, Daniel, also spoke directly to Rau, saying, “You are a coward.” Murray died at her Boonsville home in April of last year. A complete story will be featured in the weekend Wise County Messenger.

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Flooding in Chico


Several homes in the 100 block of West Kentucky Street in Chico had to be evacuated Wednesday afternoon due to rising flood waters. Chico firefighters, Wise County EMS and local law enforcement officers helped carry several children to safety. No one was injured. Red Cross was called to assist the families. Not far away on Farm Road 1810 near the entrance to Hanson Aggregates, two vehicles could be seen with only the very top of the roof showing on each vehicle. There were no reports of injuries in the incident. That was just one of at least a dozen high water rescues emergency personnel responded to Wednesday as Tropical Depression Bill dropped heavy rain on Wise County all day long. Several places in Chico had flowing water over the road, including the intersection of FM 1810 and Texas 101 and FM 1810 near Robinson Park near downtown Chico.

Children rescued from a home in Chico wait in the back on an ambulance. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Children rescued from a home in Chico wait in the back of an ambulance. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

 

Only the tops of two cars are visible above the flood waters on FM 1810 east of Chico. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Only the tops of two cars are visible above the flood waters on FM 1810 east of Chico.
Messenger photo by Joe Duty

 

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Bill brings torrential rain, flooding


Tropical Depression Bill dumped rainfall across Wise County Wednesday, leading to serious flooding and a series of water rescues late in the day.

As of 5 p.m. several water rescues from vehicles and homes were underway and numerous roads were closed. Intense flood waters swept through Chico, creating a raging river at Farm Road 1810 and Texas 101. Parts of 1810 are closed as are Decatur Street, Weatherford Street and Buffalo Street. Oncor Area Manager Sabrina Easley said 100 customers in Chico are without power due to flooding.

Harwood Park in Bridgeport is flooded, and there are multiple street closures including: the 500 block of Cates Street, 600-900 blocks of Cates, 800-1200 blocks of Hovey Street, 1200 block of 2nd Street, and 200-800 blocks of Turkey Creek Trail.

Other roads closed in the county as of 5 p.m. include County Road 4757 at Van Meter, County Road 1590 west of County Road 1593, County Road 1700, County Road 3250 at Goalaz Crossing, Farm Road 2123 at County Road 3340, the southbound lanes of U.S. 81/287 south of Navigator Truck Stop, Texas 101 north of Farm Road 1810, Farm Road 3259 and Farm Road 2265.

Wise County Fire Marshal and Emergency Management Coordinator Chuck Beard advised residents to stay off the roadways.

“It’s like ice and snow,” he said. “If you don’t need to be out, stay at home.”

Flooding is expected to continue across the county for the next two days. Beard said after the rainfall stops, he expects flood waters to recede in some areas, but low-lying areas and those near the West Fork of the Trinity River will likely remain underwater for a period of time, especially as water is released from Lake Bridgeport.

Tarrant Regional Water District closed the lake to boat traffic at 6 p.m. Wednesday and was releasing water at a rate of 6,336 cfs at 4 p.m. Beard said it usually takes 12 to 18 hours after a significant discharge from the lake for flooding to occur downstream.

 

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Jury finds Rau guilty of murder


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A Wise County jury deliberated for about 3 1/2 hours Wednesday before finding Kris Rau guilty of murdering his girlfriend, Lianne Murray, in April of 2014 at her Boonsville home. The punishment phase before the jury was supposed to begin immediately, but it has been delayed after Rau’s defense attorney, Tim Cole, fell ill while the jury was deliberating and was taken to Wise Regional Health System. The punishment phase of the trial has now been set for Friday morning. Rau is facing 5-99 years of life and up to a $10,000 fine.

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More than 1,000 without power in Decatur


More than 1,000 people are without power in Decatur after a car hit a utility pole along Farm Road 51 South Wednesday.

Oncor Area Manager Sabrina Easley said 1,200 customers are without electricity. It should be restored by 5 p.m.

Customers without power include the Wise County Animal Shelter and Wise Regional Health System. The shelter will be closed for the remainder of the day, but the hospital is operating with backup generators.

WRHS’ Shannon Puphal said there is no concern with the operation of critical equipment, and the hospital has enough fuel to operate the generators for several days.

Some classes and lessons at Fit-N-Wise have been canceled.

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Accident forces truck off overpass


BREAKING — A two-car accident forced a Chevrolet pickup truck off of the overpass at the Farm Road 51 and US 287 intersection. One man and two dogs were in the pickup truck, and the man was transported to Wise Regional Health System with injuries unknown at the time of posting. The other car involved was carrying three individuals who were transported from the scene.

 

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Power outage reported in South Wise


More than 1,000 customers are without electricity in south Wise County. Oncor Area Manager Sabrina Easley said Wednesday 1,350 customers in Rhome, Aurora, Newark and Boyd are without electricity due to a line being down in Boyd. Crews are working to repair the line, and power should be restored by 4 p.m.

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Child dies in hunting accident


Callen Little, 9, was shot in a hunting accident at approximately 9:58 a.m. Saturday at his family’s ranch on FM 4010 outside of Decatur.

Wise County EMS and the Wise County Sherriff’s Office responded and Little was transported by EMS to Wise Regional Medical Center. He was pronounced dead upon arrival.

“He was sitting in a blind with his grandfather, Jim Bob Little,” Sherriff David Walker said. “They were doing a controlled release of pheasants.”

Walker said that Callen stepped out of the blind without his grandfather knowing and when the pheasants were released, Jim Bob accidentally hit his grandson while aiming for a pheasant.

“The little boy got out of the stand, maybe to go to the bathroom or something,” Walker continued. “They released the birds and he unknowingly shot his grandson while trying to hit a bird.”

Callen’s mother and father were also at the hunt, along with a registered nurse who immediately began CPR.

“It’s a horrible, horrible accident,” Walker said. “It has affected the family, friends and the emergency responders who were there. Wise County wraps its arms around whoever needs it. I know it will take a long time, but with the love of the community, this family will heal eventually.”

Walker also said that the ranch has hosted several hunts in the past that have been extremely successful and safe.

“This is the first time they’ve had an accident at one of their hunts,” he said. “It’s just really sad and an awful thing. I know that they’re hurting and I know the community is going to rally around them because I’ve seen it before.”

Little’s body is currently at the Dallas County Medical Examiners for an autopsy.

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One flown from accident on 287


By Richard Greene
rgreene@wcmessenger.com
A man was flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth from the scene of a multiple vehicle accident on U.S. 287/81 Friday evening.
The accident occurred shortly before 7 p.m. a few miles north of County Road 4421 and south of Decatur.
According to Department of Public Safety Sgt. Lonny Haschel, a gray, four-door Dodge pickup driven by Warren Maughan, 42, of Springtown was headed north on U.S. 287 at a high rate of speed and attempted to pass a tractor trailer on the inside shoulder.
“After going around in the grassy area, it rear-ended a blue, Ford Expedition,” Haschel explained.
Maughan was flown to JPS by Air Evac with serious injuries.
The four occupants of the Expedition, including driver Darin Woolwine, 46, of Marlow, Okla. were taken by ground ambulance to Wise Regional Health System with non-life threatening injuries.
The highway was shut down for nearly an hour, causing a backup of more than three miles to near CR 4421. The accident was fully cleared and the highway opened up at 8:35 p.m.
The accident remains under investigation. No charges have been filed.
Just a few minutes after the accident south of Decatur another wreck was reported on U.S. 287 near Catfish O’Harlies north of Decatur. Medics were disregarded upon arrival of the accidents.

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High water danger remains


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A member of the Paradise Fire Department works to rescue a teen nearly swept away in flood waters Monday afternoon. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

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Despite a couple of sunny days in a row with no rain, the threat of flood waters remains. This afternoon around 6 p.m., the Decatur and Paradise fire departments as well as Wise County EMS and law enforcement were called to County Road 3250 near Screaming Bridge to rescue a 16-year-old who got swept off his feet by flood waters. The teen was able to clutch onto a tree until rescuers were able to reach him and pull him to safety. He only sustained scratches, according to law enforcement. He and his friends had been wading through the water fishing when he was swept off his feet by the swollen West Fork of the Trinity River. High water remains over several Wise County roadways, and as of 8 p.m. Monday, major roads including U.S. 380 in Runaway Bay and Farm Road 730 north of Boyd remained closed. As of 9 p.m., Lake Bridgeport continued to rise higher and was at an elevation of 840.37 feet above sea level, or 4.37 feet above conservation level. The lake remains closed to boat traffic. Motorists are reminded not to drive around or move barricades, and do not attempt to drive through flood waters.

 

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