Second victim dies after deadly Texas DPS office crash in Brenham

BRENHAM, Texas – A second victim has died after witnesses say Clenard Parker ‘intentionally’ crashed an 18-wheeler into the Brenham Department of Public Safety office because he was denied a Commercial Driver’s License the day before.

KPRC 2 is learning more about the crash that happened on April 12.

BACKGROUND: 1 dead, 13 injured after man ‘intentionally’ crashed 18-wheeler into Brenham DPS office because he was denied CDL

According to DPS and the Washington County District Attorney’s Office, a second person -- Cheryl Turner, 63, of Brenham -- died.

Bobby Huff, 78, was also killed when the 18-wheeler slammed through the office.

WASHINGTON COUNTY – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Texas Ranger Division continues to investigate the...

Posted by Texas Department of Public Safety - Southeast Texas Region on Monday, April 15, 2024

What happened?

The deadly incident took place around 10:30 a.m. at the DPS office located at 975 Hwy 290 W in Washington County.

Authorities said the suspect, Parker, 42, was denied a CDL license on Thursday. Law enforcement did not explain why Parker’s renewal was rejected.

That next day, Parker was seen driving a stolen 18-wheeler around Liberty County. Deputies noticed the truck and began to pursue Parker. At some point during the chase, Parker made a hard right turn, directly into the building. The 18-wheeler crashed into the front lobby where customers were waiting. Parker drove directly into the front office, and then put the truck in reverse, according to authorities.

Aftermath of the crash

Twelve more people were injured in the crash.

SEE ALSO: 1 dead and 13 injured in semitrailer crash at a Texas public safety office, with the driver jailed

One employee in the building was trapped “for a period of time” after the crash but no one who worked at the driver’s license office suffered serious injuries, Republican state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst said.

Suspect’s charges

Parker has now been charged with felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on a public servant, three counts of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury with a deadly weapon, one count of evading arrest or detention causing serious bodily injury, one count of unauthorized use of a vehicle and criminal mischief.

What local officials are saying

County Judge Mark Keough wrote on Twitter that he was told the situation was “intentional and done by the suspect who was denied a CDL yesterday. He returned today with intent to harm.”

Senator Kolkhorst released the following statement on the morning of the crash:

“Today, a horrific tragedy occurred in my hometown of Brenham where an individual driving a stolen 18-wheeler crashed through the local Department of Public Safety (DPS) office. Three individuals were life-flighted with critical injuries. Three other patrons were transported to local hospitals in stable condition. I have been in contact with local officials as well as the Director of DPS and the Lt. Governor’s office. All resources are being deployed to assist our local first responders. DPS reports that no staff suffered serious injury; one staffer had been trapped for a period of time inside the office.

According to law enforcement, this appears to be an intentional, criminal act and the Texas Rangers will be leading the investigation. This deliberate, heinous act is a reminder of the dangerous work done by our law enforcement and licensing agencies that work to provide public safety and services. Please join me in praying for the innocent victims and their families at this time.”

According to the Texas Tribune in thanking first responders for their speediness, Brenham Mayor Atwood Kenjura said the building could have collapsed had Parker rammed the truck through it again and veered slightly to the left, according to what the fire chief told him.

“Our prayers are with those who are still in critical care,” Kenjura said. “Thanks to our first responders. I can’t say enough for them — they put their life on the line.”

RELATED: Man crashes stolen 18-wheeler into DPS office, killing one and injuring several others

The crash remains under investigation by Texas Rangers.

About the Authors

Historian, educator, writer, expert on "The Simpsons," amateur photographer, essayist, film & tv reviewer and race/religious identity scholar. Joined KPRC 2 in Spring 2024 but has been featured in various online newspapers and in the Journal of South Texas' Fall 2019 issue.

Holly joined the KPRC 2 digital team in March 2024, leveraging her eight years of expertise in blogging and digital content to share her passion for Houston. Outside of work, she enjoys exploring the city's vibrant scenes, all while balancing her roles as a wife and mother to two toddlers.

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