Man's fatal crash into Fort Bend County creek perplexes investigators, neighbors


It happened Saturday on Old Richmond Road near Tranquil.

Investigators do not know what happened to 21-year-old Syed Ali. At 3:30am, he placed a frantic call to a Fort Bend County 911 dispatcher. His speech was rapid and breathless, then the phone went dead.

Deputies traced the call to this area of Old Richmond Road where Ali's car was found in the bayou. Ali died in what right now appears to be a drowning.

Neighbors tell us this stretch of road can be dangerous, but not necessarily right at this bridge.

"There's another curve just down the street that, every time it rains, wreckers are pulling cars out of the ditch," David Wright said.

"I've lost a lot of friends on this road, actually," Misti Landers said.

The trajectory of Ali's vehicle is raising questions from both drivers and investigators. The car traveled from the right lane into the left lane, and DPS troopers say it was already off the road when the car went straight down an embankment and then into the water. Some speculate Ali may have swerved.

DPS is investigating, but Fort Bend County Road Commissioner Marc Grant came to the scene to conduct his own investigation.

"This is the first instance that we've ever had of this. That's why I came," Grant said. "Make sure the guardrail is in place and everything's where it should be."

The bridge that Ali's car was approaching before he went off the road looks to be intact. Three years ago, the county re-did the guardrails and concrete barricades and added a large shoulder.

"I've never seen anyone wreck on the bridge since it's been built," neighbor Spencer Dunn said.

And that's why Grant is so perplexed. He wants to know why Ali's car went from the right lane into the left lane, past the bridge, and into the water.

"I can't see anything at this point that looks like from a roadway or right-of-way standpoint that had anything to do with this," he said.

"This whole area is very dangerous," Lander said. "We get a lot of accidents on this road. There are deer out here; there are wild pigs, too."

There were no skid marks to indicate Ali was speeding, and toxicology testing is underway to determine if drugs or alcohol were involved.

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