Driver charged with intoxication assault in prison van crash that injured 4 in Montgomery Co.

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Thursday, June 9, 2022
Inmate, 3 guards hurt in crash with suspected drunk driver, police say
Officials suspended prison transports on Monday, but said the overnight transport from a Galveston hospital was for medical reasons and involved additional security.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- A driver has been charged after four people, including an inmate, were injured in a severe crash involving a prison transport van.

Ian Morris, 27, was found to be at fault in the crash. He is charged with two counts of intoxication assault, which is a felony.

The crash happened around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday in the northbound lanes of I-45, approaching Willis near FM-1097.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Inmate, 3 guards hurt in prison van crash with suspected drunk driver in Montgomery Co., police say

According to Conroe police, Morris, who was driving a red truck, spun out on the freeway and came to a stop. Police said alcohol contributed to the crash.

That's when a Texas Department of Criminal Justice transport van slammed into the truck.

There were two correctional officers, one sergeant and one inmate inside the van at the time of the crash.

Video from the scene showed both the TDCJ van and the red truck were completely destroyed.

Ian Morris, 27, was found to be at fault in the crash. He is charged with two counts of intoxication assault, which is a felony.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the inmate and one officer were still in the hospital. The other two guards were treated and released on Tuesday.

A spokesperson with the TDCJ told ABC13 the van was leaving a hospital in Galveston, and the inmate was being transported to the Skyview Unit in Rusk, Texas.

The spokesperson said additional security had been added to the van, and confirmed that three guards were on board at the time of the crash.

READ MORE: Texas prison officials suspend inmate transports as Gonzalo Lopez's escape under review

A state lawmaker is pushing for change when it comes to transporting high-risk inmates after officials say an escaped inmate killed a grandfather and four of his grandsons.

Texas prison officials suspended inmate transports Monday in the wake of convicted murderer Gonzalo Lopez's flight from the law after he managed to overpower guards on a transport bus.

The action came as State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, who chairs the Texas Senate's Criminal Justice Committee, pressed the Texas Department of Justice to suspend transports until safeguards are in place.

The TDCJ re-released its statement from Monday about transports, emphasizing the second sentence about medicinally-necessary transports and additional security measures.

"TDCJ has temporarily suspended the transport of inmates as the agency conducts a comprehensive review of its transportation procedures. If it becomes necessary to do a transport such as releasing or an emergency medical appointment, additional security measures will be implemented. The agency is conducting an internal Serious Incident Review and also intends to bring in an outside firm to conduct an independent review to identify factors that may have lead to the escape of Lopez."

SEE ALSO: 'Back to the drawing board': TX escapee's fingerprints found at home near killed family, sources say

The five people found dead at their family's cabin include three brothers - 11, 16, and 18; their 11-year-old cousin; and their 66-year-old grandfather.