August 17, 2008

Motorcycle wrecks injure two, one badly

By Danny Gallagher, McKinney Courier-Gazette
(Created: Saturday, August 16, 2008)

Victor Badillo-Garcia

State troopers and Collin County sheriff’s deputies handled two serious motorcycle wrecks in the last three days in Northeastern Collin County, one of which could eventually result in a felony negligent homicide charge.

The wrecks occurred Saturday afternoon at the intersection of Farm to Market Road 3133 and County Road 533, and Monday morning on State Highway 121, just north of State Highway 160. Both sites are located in Westminster, according to Texas Department of Public Safety and Collin County briefing reports.

The Monday wreck occurred at about 5:50 a.m. and involved three vehicles driving on both sides of a stretch of State Highway 121, according to county dispatch reports.

A 2000 GMC Sonoma pickup truck driven by Victor Badillo-Garcia, 22, of Dallas crossed a double yellow line in the roadway while driving north on SH 121 and veered into the path of a 2007 Harley Davidson motorcycle driven by David Cona, 34, of Honey Grove, Cpl. Shannon Tilton said.

The Sonoma pickup continued driven north after striking the motorcycle and collided with a 2005 Chevrolet Avalanche driven by Doris Browning, 56, of Leonard. All three of the vehicles involved came to rest in the southbound ditch, Tilton said.

First responders found Cona lying next to his motorcycle with life-threatening injuries. Tilton said he was wearing a helmet, but it had been damaged during the accident.

Paramedics set up a landing zone for a medical helicopter to transport Cona to Parkland Memorial Hospital of Dallas. An EMS ambulance also transported Browning to Medical Center of McKinney.

Tilton said state troopers also brought Badillo-Garcia to MCM for treatment and took him into custody after the hospital treated and released him. He received a second-degree felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and a misdemeanor charge of driving with no driver’s license. He also has a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer, according to jail records.

Tilton said Badillo-Garcia’s charge could change depending on Cona’s condition.

“If Mr. Cona passes, I can probably change that charge to criminally negligent homicide,” Tilton said.

Tilton said the Saturday crash occurred when a Harley Davidson motorcycle, driven by Benjamin Cowling Jr., 52, of Westminster, left the roadway and crashed in a grassy center median in the intersection.

Tilton said Cowling was riding with a group and lost control of his motorcycle when he took a sharp curve too fast and slid out of the road.

The motorcycle slid into the grass and hit a ditch, causing it to flip over, throwing Cowling in the process. Tilton also said he was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, but did not suffer any serious or life-threatening head injuries. He did sustain a broken femur and pelvis from the accident.

Cowling’s fellow riders stopped to help him and called emergency dispatch for an ambulance. Paramedics set up a landing zone for a medical helicopter to transport him to Baylor Medical Center of Dallas. Tilton said none of his injuries were life-threatening.

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