Deadly road: 3 people killed along Highway 249 within weeks

Thursday, November 09, 2017 10:33AM
ABC13's Courtney Fischer talks to Harris Co. Sheriff's Office after recent pedestrian deaths on Hwy 249.


HOUSTON, Texas - Another person was hit and killed today while crossing State Highway 249.

Melanie Mason had just gotten off a Metro bus when she was hit by an SUV.

Deputies say the driver won't be charged because they had the green light.

Witnesses who saw the accident, say Mason was on her cell phone, not paying attention while crossing.

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In the last two weeks, three people have been killed in northwest Harris County along a dangerous stretch of State Highway 249. Two of those people were hit by cars at night while walking along the road.

Investigators with the Harris County Sheriff's Office now call this part of 249 between FM-1960 and Veterans Memorial Parkway a "hotspot," meaning too many people have died here. Deputies are targeting the area to make it safer and some want to see street lighting improve.

"It's very bad," Carroll Peavy said, as she walked along the shoulder. "It's dangerous."

Peavy walks this stretch two times a month from her senior citizen retirement home to pay bills.

"Then I've got to walk back!" Peavy said.

"That stretch of roadway is deadly," said Cpt. Quincy Whitaker with the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

On Oct. 28, John Groom was crossing Highway 249 when he was hit and killed. The driver did not stop. Whitaker said that driver recently turned himself in and the district attorney's office is deciding whether or not to indict him.

Two days earlier, Brittany Spears, 27, was walking along the shoulder when she was hit by nine vehicles. No one stopped to help the mother of three.

"It's unspeakable someone could do this," said Wendy Hair, Spears' mother. "Her children are going to grow up and never have a mom in their life, I'm never going to have my daughter back."

Investigators are looking at paint chips on Spears' clothing to help them track down the cars that hit Spears.

"I'm convinced that the first three cars were aware that it was a person," Whitaker said.

Whitaker says the lighting along 249 could be improved. The night Spears was killed, deputies noted the area was very dark in the crash report.

"It's poor," Whitaker said. "Personally, I think it could be improved, but that's up to TXDOT."

READ MORE: Up to nine vehicles struck woman and left her to die on Hwy 249

Drivers fail to stop after hitting woman on Hwy 249


A spokesperson for TXDOT says they've made a case to the state asking to improve the lighting in this area. That request is pending.

If you think this stretch of 249 is too dark, or would like to report another issue with roadways in the county, you can do it here.


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