1 Killed and 13 Injured in ‘Intentional’ Truck Crash Into Building in Texas

A man stole a semitrailer in Texas on Friday and, after a police pursuit, crashed it into a state government office where he had been denied a commercial driver’s license the day before, killing one person and injuring 13 others, the authorities said.

Sgt. Justin Ruiz of the Texas Department of Public Safety said at a news conference that the driver, Clenard Parker, had stolen the truck, and after a police pursuit drove the vehicle into the office in Brenham, Texas, a small city about 75 miles northwest of Houston. Mr. Parker, 42, of Chappell Hill, Texas, was not injured, and was taken into custody by several officers.

Mr. Parker had been to the office the previous day, Sergeant Ruiz said, and was told that he was not eligible to renew his commercial driver’s license.

Sergeant Ruiz described a winding police pursuit in which Mr. Parker drove the stolen truck westbound on a highway, and then turned around to go back east.

Then, Sergeant Ruiz said, “the stolen eighteen-wheeler took a hard right turn, and went into the D.P.S. Brenham office.”

Fourteen people were inside the office when the truck slammed into the exterior wall about 10:30 a.m. local time. Three were airlifted to hospitals, three others were transported to a hospital, and eight more were treated at the scene for their injuries.

One person died of injuries from the crash after being transported, Sergeant Ruiz said. It was unclear whether that person worked at the Department of Public Safety.

Mr. Parker was taken into custody and is facing multiple felony offenses, according to the Department of Public Safety, which is investigating the crash along with the Texas Rangers.

According to a database from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Mr. Parker had been previously arrested on arson and trespassing charges. It was not clear if Mr. Parker was being represented by a lawyer in the current case.

Video and images of the scene showed the truck in a parking lot, and damage to a wall of the building with debris scattered on the ground.

The Department of Public Safety provides a range of services, in addition to driver’s license operations and vehicle inspection programs. Texas public safety facilities have in recent years been tasked with preventing crime along the U.S.-Mexico border, addressing threats to public schools, and dealing with gangs and sex trafficking throughout the state, according to the department’s website.

The office is separate from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, which oversees, for example, vehicle registration and issuing license plates.

Kirsten Noyes contributed research.

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