One boy killed, another injured in Halloween accident


About 8:13pm, Galveston County Sheriff's deputies responded to reports of an auto-pedestrian accident in the 1800 block of Loop 108 (Broadway Street) in Port Bolivar. Deputies arrived to find Ernest Rodriguez, 12, and Christian Balderrana, 11, had both been struck by a vehicle.

Deputies learned the boys were riding in the back of a pickup truck driven by Balderrana's father when they decided to visit a Halloween party taking place at the Port Bolivar Volunteer Fire Department. The father, driving west on Loop 108, prepared to turn into the driveway of the fire station and apparently stopped to wait for another vehicle to pass when the boys jumped from the back of the truck and started to run across the roadway. As they crossed the eastbound lane of the roadway, they were both struck by a Toyota pickup truck driven by a 52-year-old Beaumont man. The truck, which had been traveling east, came to a stop a short distance away.

Port Bolivar volunteer firefighters, who were at their station, immediately summoned sheriff's deputies to the scene as they rushed in to provide medical attention to the boys.

A PHI SkyMed air ambulance flew both boys to UTMB Hospital in Galveston. Balderrana reportedly received several cuts and abrasions and was, at last report, in stable condition. Rodriguez, however, succumbed to injuries received in the collision and was pronounced dead by UTMB physicians at 9:37pm. An autopsy will be performed.

Sheriff's collision reconstruction investigators worked throughout the night examining evidence and factors that may have contributed to the accident. They continue to confer with prosecutors as their probe develops, but as of this time no criminal charges have been preferred.

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