FREEPORT — A “freak accident” in which a boat towed by a truck smashed into the side of a low bridge killed a Katy man over the weekend, Freeport Police Chief Ray Garivey said.
“Everyone involved was distraught,” Garivey said. “We believe it was just a complete accident. They’re not from here; they didn’t pay any attention to the warning signs.”
A group of four friends from the greater Houston area were towing a silver 2003 center-console boat with their 2018 Dodge Ram pickup about 10:30 p.m. Saturday when it smashed into the side of a low bridge in the 600 block of West Second Street, Garivey said. The group had finished a day of fishing and were going to store the boat in a marina overnight, he said.
Tyler Homann was killed when parts of the structure fell from the boat’s impact and hit him on the head, the chief said.
“The bad part of our job is having to tell someone their friend or loved one is dead,” Garivey said.
Homann’s friends immediately rushed him to CHI St. Luke’s Health Brazosport Hospital in Lake Jackson, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival, Garivey said. Police confirmed neither speed nor alcohol were a factor, calling the incident a “complete accident.”
“They all clearly showed no signs of alcohol,” Garivey said.
No charges are being sought, he said.
Homann and a 22-year-old man from Katy were sitting in the back of the boat while a 23-year-old man from Katy drove the boat with a 32-year-old Pearland man in thr passenger seat, Garivey said.
In Texas, it is legal for people over the age of 18 to ride in the back of trucks and trailers, Garivey said. The speed limit on the section of road where the accident occurred is 30 mph, her said. No one else was injured in the accident.
Freeport police and city officials said accidents at this bridge are common despite warning signs being posted. At a council meeting Monday night, Mayor Troy Brimage suggested the city streets department look into adding flashing lights so the warnings are more apparent at night.
“You would be amazed the number of people who hit that,” Brimage said.
He also asked Garivey to look into other ways safety could be improved at that bridge, such as increasing patrols in that area.