Man crashes truck into public security office; 1 dead and 13 injured

HOUSTON – A Texas truck driver intentionally rammed a stolen tractor-trailer into a public safety office where he had been denied renewal of his business license, killing one person and injuring 13 others, authorities reported Friday.

The deliberate crash into the single-story brick office, located off a freeway in Brenham, a rural town outside Houston, left debris all over the parking lot and a gaping hole in the entrance. The crash caused damage to the front of the vehicle, which was transporting material.

After crashing into the building the first time, the driver put the vehicle in reverse, intending to crash again, before being stopped, Brenham Mayor Atwood Kenjura said.

“It is unfortunate that we are gathered here for a tragedy that really makes no sense,†Kenjura said.

Suspect arrested

The truck driver, identified as Clenard Parker, 42, was removed from the vehicle by Texas Department of Public Safety agents. According to authorities, Parker was taken into custody, but they have not revealed what charges he would face.

Office employees told Parker on Thursday that he would not be eligible to renew his business license, Texas Department of Public Safety Sergeant Justin Ruiz said. He did not go into detail about why Parker's application was rejected.

An employee working in the building was trapped “for some time” after the crash, but none of the people working at the driver's license office were seriously injured, state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst said.

After the crash, two people were airlifted to a hospital in Bryan and another to Houston. Three people were taken to local hospitals, where they were released hours later. In addition, eight other people received medical attention at the scene.

A heavy police presence surrounded the building and drivers were urged to stay away from the area on Friday. Brenham, a city of about 19,000 people, is located about 80 miles (128 kilometers) west of Houston.

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