Husband killed, wife injured when alleged drunk driver slams into horse-drawn carriage

July 23, 2012 3:44:57 PM PDT
A Sugar Land business owner is dead after the horse-drawn carriage he was riding in with his wife was hit by a suspected drunk driver.

His wife and two others where injured near the intersection of Avenue L and 21st Street. Three people remain in the hospital -- one in fair condition, the other two in good condition.

At the family carpet business Bobby and Renee McKelvey operated, friends are devastated by this weekend's tragedy.

"Bobby is always a smiling person, happy, giving, loving soul and his wife is great," said Debbie Candelari.

She says Bobby, 57, took his wife Renee, 46, to Galveston to celebrate her birthday. The couple were riding in a horse-drawn carriage Saturday night along 21st Street when a car smashed into the carriage. Bobby didn't make it.

"Bob and Renee are both the friendliest people you'd ever meet. They're always around in the neighborhood," said neighbor Annie Drachenberg.

Police arrested Mike Grayson, of Conroe, who was driving the car. Grayson has been charged with intoxication manslaughter for the death of Bobby, and three counts of intoxication assault relating to injuries sustained by Renee McKelvey, carriage driver John Hodsdon, and his friend, Holli Vowell.

Grayson, 21, allegedly tried to flee the scene, but witnesses detained him until police arrived. Officers determined Grayson was intoxicated at the time of the crash. He also told police he was on medication.

Police say the passenger in Grayson's car, Garrett Constance, 22, from The Woodlands, was injured but left the hospital against medical advice.

The horse was limping, but was able to load into a trailer just fine and was released to its owner at the scene.

Hodsdon's mother is grateful her son is alive.

"Happy that he survived, blessed. There are so many people that are offering their prayers and well wishes," said Hodsdon's mother, Crystal Hobbs.

Investigators say they don't yet know how fast the car was going. As the three surviving victims recover in the hospital, friends and neighbors of the McKelvey's say they remain in shock.

"It's still pretty unreal. Life is pretty fragile. Anything can happen anytime," Drachenberg said.

We're told by the hospital that Renee McKelvey is in fair condition, while Hodsdon, 26, and Vowell, 18, are in good condition.

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