HITCHCOCK — A crash early Friday morning on FM 2004 near Tacquard Ranch Road in Galveston County took the life of a husband and father, police said.
The wreck caused the fifth fatality and was the fourth fatal crash along the stretch of road in 2019.
The head-on collision happened about 6 a.m., Hitchcock Police Chief Wilmon Smith said.
Brendan Maloney, of Freeport, 37, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, Smith said. Maloney was driving a silver Chrysler 300.
He was married to Christina Maloney, mother of their two children, ages 7 and 10, for just eight months and 11 days, Smith said.
“My heart goes out to this family,” Smith said. “She lost her husband and the kids lost their dad.”
The driver of the other vehicle, a dark-colored Dodge truck, 44-year-old Daniel Snipe, was airlifted to a University of Texas Medical Branch hospital with a possible broken arm and possible internal injuries, Smith said.
“We don’t know where Mr. Snipe is from or his condition at this time,” Smith said at about noon Friday.
Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office deputies were first to arrive at the crash and handed the investigation off to Hitchcock Police, with assistance from the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office, Smith said.
There were no witnesses at the crash site, Smith said.
Hitchcock Police were continuing to investigate the collision, but initial reports indicate at least one vehicle crossed the center line, Smith said.
Similar fatal accidents have occurred in the same general area of FM 2004 three other times this year. The road is known to motorists and law enforcement as one of the most dangerous in the county, according to records kept by the Texas Department of Transportation.
“Until that road is made wider, this is unfortunately something that might continue,” Smith said.
FM 2004 stretching from south of Hitchcock to the Brazoria County line is mostly narrow with no shoulder and no turn lanes. The road takes on heavy traffic when shifts change at a large chemical plant at Chocolate Bayou, Smith said earlier this year.
“It’s tough for law enforcement because you can’t really enforce speeding on that highway,” he said after a fatal accident in late August. “There’s no way to turn around to get behind them if you know they’re speeding. It’s almost an area that our hands are kind of tied.”
Texas Department of Transportation representative in August discussed problems on the road with city leaders, said Mayor Randy Stricklind, but he hasn’t heard from anyone at the department since about progress.
The department plans to add shoulders from the Brazoria County line to Highway 6 in Hitchcock in the summer of 2020, transportation department spokesman Danny Perez said in August.
The department also has a Highway Safety Improvement Program that uses crash data to evaluate dangerous stretches of road and propose improvements.
“The curve at Tacquard was submitted to have flashing LED chevrons installed,” Perez said in late August. “A timeline for installation is still being determined.”
Perez could not be reached for comment Friday on progress on that installation.