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DPS releases name of woman killed in I-10 crash that claimed lives of two children, two adults

ORANGE COUNTY - The Texas Department of Public Safety is releasing the name of a woman killed in a crash on Interstate 10 in Rose City that killed two adults and two children.

Glenda Blackwell, 62, of Vidor, died in the crash.

Watch KFDM and stay with for updates and reaction.

Troopers say  because of the complexity and severity of a crash that killed two children and two adults on Interstate 10 in Rose City, and the need to review evidence and collect witness statements, it could take a couple of days for troopers to determine the cause of the crash and factors that contributed to it.

The crash was reported at about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday on Interstate 10 near the Asher Turnaround in Rose City.

Through further investigation, the DPS says it has determined there were five vehicles involved in this crash. 

The crash involved a 2015 Kenworth truck tractor, a 2003 Volvo truck tractor, a 2011 Kia SUV, a 2002 Dodge truck and a 1994 Ford passenger vehicle.  

The driver of the 2011 Kia, 62-year-old Glenda Blackwell of Vidor, was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Derry Dunn.  The two minor children in the Kia were both from Beaumont and they too were pronounced dead at the scene by Judge Dunn. The minor children's names will not be released. 

The driver of the 1994 Ford passenger vehicle, a Hispanic male, was pronounced dead at the scene by Judge Dunn; however, his identity has not been confirmed. 

The drivers of the other vehicles were not injured in this crash.  

Again, this is an ongoing crash investigation and information will be updated as needed.

Port Arthur woman charged in Syam tax investigation

BEAUMONT, Texas - From U.S. Attorney's Office

A 61-year-old Port Arthur, Texas woman has been charged for her role in the SYAM Tax Service case in the Eastern district of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

Diana Broussard McCoy was indicted on Oct. 1, 2014 by a federal grand jury charging her with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

McCoy joins Shannon Tecoko Mays, 36, of Dallas, who was previously indicted on Feb. 5, 2014, for conspiracy to commit wire fraud.  Mays is currently scheduled for trial on Dec. 8, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Ron Clark.

According to prosecutors, an investigation began in August 2012 in response to numerous complaints to state and federal authorities from citizens in Port Arthur, Anahuac, Nacogdoches and Lufkin, Texas regarding income tax returns that were being fraudulently prepared on their behalf.  During the investigation, it was discovered that Mays was operating numerous offices across the United States under the name “Syam Tax Services, L.L.C.” and “Baby Momma Tax.”  Although the principal office was located in Dallas, Mays also operated or sought to operate satellite offices in numerous other locations, including Fort Worth, Houston, New Orleans, Memphis, Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles.

The indictment alleges that Mays employed McCoy as a “recruiter” for Southeast Texas, paying her between $50-100 for every client she successfully brought into Syam Tax.  Mays targeted individuals who were generally exempt from having to file income tax returns because they would be less likely to discover a fraudulent tax return had been filed on their behalf.  In order to avoid detection, Mays altered the taxpayer’s address and phone numbers on the returns so that any phone calls or correspondence from the IRS would not reach the taxpayer.  The scheme also used electronic deposits to ensure paper checks would not be mailed to the taxpayer.

On Aug. 22, 2012, Port Arthur Police and federal investigators executed a search warrant on McCoy’s residence in Port Arthur.  Officers recovered numerous boxes of documents that contained the personal information of Port Arthur residents and had previously been faxed to Syam’s Houston office.

For the tax year 2011, Syam Tax filed 4,226 tax returns claiming approximately $3,150,406.  If convicted, McCoy faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

This case is being investigated by Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Port Arthur Police Department, the Texas Attorney General’s Office – Consumer Protection Division, and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Baylor Wortham.

It is important to note that a grand jury indictment is not evidence of guilt.

Melissa Ringhardt caught in Arkansas

ORANGE COUNTY - From Orange County Sheriff's Office

     Melissa Ringhardt has been located and arrested by Deputies of the Pope County Sheriff’s Department in Russellville, Arkansas, around 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 2, 2014.  The Pope County Sheriff’s Office received an anonymous tip from a resident in the area who recognized Ringhardt, although her hair color had been changed.  Information obtained from the Pope County Sheriff’s Department indicated she was taken into custody from a residence in the City of Russellville without incident.

Ringhardt will remain in custody at the Pope County Detention Center until arrangements are made to have her transported to the Orange County Corrections Facility in Orange County, Texas.

The warrant for Ringhardt was issued in June of 2103 when she failed to report to her probation officer in April of 2013.  The Orange County Sheriff’s Office Warrant Deputies have believed that when she could not be found in the Southeast Texas area, Arkansas was one of several states she was believed to have gone.  Several locations had been checked previously in that area, but without success of locating Ringhardt.  On this date, however, she was successfully apprehended.  She is being held without bond on a Motion to Revoke Probation for Endangering a Child out of Orange County 128th District Court.

Update: Water department crew causes gas leak that leads to country club evacuation

BEAUMONT - A City of Beaumont water department crew accidentally cut a two inch natural gas line and caused a leak that prompted the evacuation of Beaumont Country Club, according to investigators.

No one was hurt.

Beaumont Fire Rescue received a call shortly before 11 a.m. Thursday of a natural gas leak in the 5300 block of Pine Street, adjacent to the Beaumont Country Club. When firefighters arrived, they found that a City of Beaumont crew from the water department had accidentally cut a two inch natural gas line.

As a precaution, the Beaumont Country Club was evacuated. There were ten staff people present at the time who were evacuated.

Access to Collier’s Ferry Park area is also blocked at this time.

Centerpoint Energy was notified and has a crew enroute.


Fire destroys home east of Jasper

JASPER COUNTY - By Steve W Stewart

The Jasper and East End Fire Departments had their hands full dealing with a Wednesday evening house fire just east of Jasper. The blaze broke out shortly before 7:00 at the Clint Mobley residence, located on Highway 63 East, just east of Farm to Market Road 776, and less than a mile away from the scene of a house fire that occurred over the weekend.

The first firefighter on the scene reported heavy black smoke pouring out of the one story wood frame structure. Just a minute or two later, he reported that the home had suddenly erupted in flames and was fully involved.

Firefighters were hampered because of the size and the location of the fire. With no fire hydrants available, their tanker trucks had to make several trips to a nearby water source to refill.

The flames were finally brought under control about an hour later, but the house was completely destroyed.

Family members at the scene said that Mobley and his children were attending church, and no one was at the house when the incident occurred.

The cause of the fire is unknown.

State orders family of Ebola patient to stay home

AUSTIN - From Texas Department of State Health Services

Out of an abundance of caution, Texas and Dallas County health officials have ordered four close family members of the Dallas Ebola patient to stay home and not have any visitors to prevent the potential spread of disease. 

“We have tried and true protocols to protect the public and stop the spread of this disease,” said Dr. David Lakey, Texas health commissioner. “This order gives us the ability to monitor the situation in the most meticulous way.”

The local health department had previously instructed the family to stay home, but a strict public health control order is needed to ensure compliance. Ebola is not contagious until symptoms appear. The family members do not have symptoms at this time.

The orders were hand delivered to the family members Wednesday evening by local health officials. The orders legally require the family to stay at home and not have any visitors without approval from the local or state health department until at least Oct. 19. The order is in place until the incubation period has passed and the family is no longer at risk of having the disease.

The order requires the family to be available to provide blood samples and agree to any testing required by public health officials and to immediately report any symptoms to Dallas County Health and Human Services. Symptoms include fever above 100.5 degrees, headache, nausea, diarrhea or abdominal pain. 

Texas law allows the state health department and the local health authority to issue control measures to a person who is ill with, has been exposed to, or is the carrier of a communicable disease. (Health and Safety Code §81.083). Control measures by law can include isolation, quarantine and preventive therapy. If a person does not follow these orders, they can be enforced by the courts, and the person can face criminal charges.

I-10 reopens in Orange County following crash that killed 4 people

ORANGE COUNTY - State troopers have reopened Interstate 10 in Orange County Thursday morning while they investigate a collision involving two 18 wheelers and two other vehicles that killed two children and two adults.

I-10 East and West reopened at about 5 a.m. Thursday following the crash at about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The collision near the Asher turnaround in Rose City involved two 18-wheelers, a KIA SUV and a 1994 Ford.  Investigators say at least one of the vehicles caught on fire.

Two children and one adult in one vehicle died. Another adult in a second vehicle was also killed.

State troopers aren't releasing their names until relatives are notified.


Update: Four dead in multi-vehicle crash

The Department of Public Safety has confirmed four people have died following a multiple-vehicle wreck on the westbound side of Interstate 10 near the Asher Turnaround.

According to DPS, two 18-wheelers and two passenger vehicles were involved in the wreck around 9:30 Wednesday evening.

It is not clear how the vehicles collided, but DPS says at least one of the vehicles caught fire.

A spokesperson with DPS says one adult and two children in one of the passenger vehicles and one adult in another vehicle died in the wreck.

A spokesperson with the Texas Department of Transportation says that area of I-10 will be closed through the night and will remain closed until sometime Thursday afternoon.

It will affect morning commutes.

Stay with KFDM News on air and online for updates.

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