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


court

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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U.S. 380 closed at Lake Bridgeport bridge


With water climbing over the roadway on U.S 380 just west of the Lake Bridgeport bridge in Runaway Bay, the Texas Department of Transportation has shut down the roadway until further notice. The lake level has continued to rise after weeks of rainy weather. As of 9 p.m., the lake stood at an elevation of 840.13 feet, more than four feet above conservation level. Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard said he has been told by the Tarrant Regional Water District that the lake level should crest between 841 to 842 feet tomorrow, according to estimates. Only emergency traffic will be allowed to cross the bridge while he road is closed. Drivers should seek alternate routes.

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Breaking News: Voluntary evacuations requested due to flooding concerns


The Tarrant Regional Water District and Sheriff David Walker are asking anyone who lives below the 840 feet elevation around Lake Bridgeport and areas downstream along the Trinity River to voluntarily evacuate. The TRWD expects the lake to crest at or above 840 feet tonight. U.S. 380 is expected to remain open at this time. At 6 p.m., the water level is expected to reach the beams of the bridge and would need to be reevaluated by TxDOT around midnight for possible flooding. Water is being released from Lake Bridgeport, meaning areas along the Trinity downstream in the Bridgeport and Boyd areas could be at risk for more flooding. People are reminded not to drive around barricades for roads that are shut down due to flooding.

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Lake Bridgeport closed to boat traffic


The Tarrant Regional Water District closed Lake Bridgeport to boat traffic Friday morning, citing dangerous water conditions. Wakes caused by boating could potentially flood low-lying homes along the lake, and debris from the recent storms makes the water hazardous to enter. The reservoir’s spillway was opened Wednesday to discharge excess water, but the rate of discharge was increased Friday. The Wise County Sheriff’s Office warns that this may cause flooding downstream from Lake Bridgeport in Precinct 3 or along the Trinity River. Sheriff David Walker urges citizens to leave alone any barricades on flooded roadways and to not drive through water.

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Rhome woman seriously injured in rollover


Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

A Rhome woman was seriously injured Thursday morning when she rolled her sports utility vehicle on U.S. 81/287, just south of County Road 4421.
Barbara L. Mallory was northbound on 287 just before 8 a.m. when her left, front tire blew out, pulling her vehicle to the left. Department of Public Safety Trooper Madison Zaragoza said Mallory overcorrected to the right, running off the east side of the road. She tried to straighten the vehicle on a strip of pavement that runs alongside the highway, but she never regained control. The vehicle rolled and landed on its side next to the railroad tracks.
Mallory was trapped in the SUV and suffered multiple lacerations. She was transported to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth by Medic 1.
Wise County’s Rescue 1 and East Wise Fire Department also responded.

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Truck fire shuts down highway


Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The northbound lanes of U.S. 81/287 in front of Allsup’s in Decatur were shut down just before 5 a.m. Wednesday when an 18-wheeler caught fire. Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins said it hit another truck that had slowed to turn into Allsup’s.

Sam Russo of Louisiana, who was driving a TMI Logistics truck loaded with oil and gas equipment, said he was on his way to Pampa when he was hit from behind. A door from the 18-wheeler that hit him was hanging off the equipment on Russo’s trailer. Russo was parked in the Allsup’s parking lot, while the burned truck sat in the exit for Farm Road 51 South.

The name of the driver of the burned truck was not immediately available. Neither driver was injured.

The highway was still shut down as of 6:25 a.m. as the Texas Department of Transportation and wrecker crews worked to clean diesel and debris from the road.

Wise County sheriff’s deputies were directing northbound traffic to Business 287 south of town.

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Body identified, missing woman found


The body of a man found inside a burning travel trailer near Chico last Thursday has been identified as Lawrence Roy Roberts, 58, of Chico. The positive identification was made by the Dallas County Medical Examiners Office, which also ruled the death a homicide. Wise County Sheriff David Walker said the ME’s office ruled Roberts died from a gun shot wound. His body was in one of three fires on the property at 1122 Farm Road 2952 southwest of Chico last Thursday night. Jeremy Wade Marlett, 34, of Chico was arrested Friday and charged with arson in the case. No murder charges have been filed. A missing woman wanted in connection with the case was also found safe Tuesday, Walker said. Teresa Jan Rose, 41, of Chico was found in Bridgeport and is cooperating with investigators, who are seeking the couple who gave Rose a ride Thursday night. To report information about the case, contact Sergeant Josh Reynolds with the Wise County Sheriff’s Office at 940-627-5971 ext. 263 or via e-mail at reynoldsj@sheriff.co.wise.tx.us.

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2 killed in Friday collision


Two people were killed Friday afternoon in a car wreck on Texas 199, one mile west of Farm Road 920. Department of Public Safety Trooper Fred Thornton Jr. said a passenger car traveling east crossed the center line and hit a westbound white, Ford Escape driven by Pamela Hudson, 56, of Bowie.

Thornton said wet roads were a factor.

“He hydroplaned and went over the center stripe, and she plowed into him,” Thornton said.

Both drivers were killed. The name of the second driver has not yet been released, pending notification of the family.

Both were pronounced dead on the scene by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Craig Johnson.

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Murder investigation includes search for missing person


 

Teresa Rose

Teresa Rose

As part of an arson/murder investigation related to Thursday night’s fire and the discovery of a body in a travel trailer in the 1100 block of Farm Road 2952 in Chico, the Wise County Sheriff’s Office is now seeking a missing person that could be connected to the case. Investigators are seeking Teresa Jan Rose, 41, of Chico. She’s 5-foot-2-inches tall and weighs approximately 135 pounds. Anyone with information about Rose’s location should call Sgt. Josh Reynolds with the WCSO at 940-627-5971, ext. 263; email reynolds@sheriff.co.wise.tx.us or call Crimestoppers at 800-643-TIPS. Jeremy Wade Marlett, 34, of Chico was arrested early Friday morning and was charged with arson in connection with the fire as well as on a charge of possession of marijuana. The body, which was found in the travel trailer that was destroyed by fire, has not yet been identified. A mobile home was also destroyed in a fire on the property.

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