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Horse-Drawn Carriage Hit at 100 Mph by Drunk Driver in Galveston, Wrongful-Death Suit Filed

A wrongful-death lawsuit has been filed in Galveston, Texas, stemming from a fatal collision, when Michael Shayne Grayson crashed his 2006 Infinity G35into the back of a horse-drawn carriage carrying three passengers.Grayson was traveling 100 mph, according to the police report.

Grayson, 22, is charged with three counts of intoxication assault with a vehicle and one count of intoxicated manslaughter after crashing into a horse-drawn carriage, killing one passenger and severely injuring three others on July 21, 2012, according

The  petition blames Grayson for "being drunk and otherwise chemically impaired as he raced through the streets and neighborhoods ofGalveston" prior to the collision.


Defendant Grayson was allegedly finished with a night of drinking at Yaga's and Tsunami with a friend when he drove his 2006 Infinity G35 through 21st Street and Avenue L and "struck and destroyed" the carriage carrying the McKelveys, the lawsuit asserts.

According to the suit filed in Galveston County District Court, Bob McKelvey, 57, and his wife were riding in the carriagetoward Galveston Island’s Seawallto the Hotel Galvez as part of a wedding-anniversary celebration. The crash injured the couple, another carriage passenger and the ride's operator.

The alleged drunk driver was injured in the accident but attempted to flee on foot. According to news sources, bystanders held the man at the accident site until police could arrive. The passenger, GarrettConstance, 22, of The Woodlandswas also injured but left the hospital against the doctor's warnings.

The 26-year-old failed a field sobriety test and was given a blood test at the hospital to determine his blood alcohol content.

Bobby McKelvey, 57, of Sugar Land died Sunday morning, according to Galveston police and the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s Office.

McKelvey’s wife, Renee McKelvey, 46, was taken to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.She remains hospitalized at the time of the filing, according to the lawsuit.


Yellow Cab Co. owner Bruce Howell told theGalveston Daily Newshe was a witness to the aftermath of the wreck. Howell said he was traveling on 21st Street when the wreck happened in front of him.

The horse-drawn carriage was headed south on 21st Street, taking its passengers to their hotel at the seawall. The Infinity was also was headed south on 21st Street, traveling at an estimated speed of 100 mphwhen it crashed into the carriage at Avenue L about 11:00 p.m., police said.
“I didn’t see the impact, but it was up in front of me,” Howell said. As he moved closer, he saw the debris and three bodies on the ground. “It was a horrific impact,” The car hit the rear of the carriage with such force that the carriage broke apart.

Howell said. “The vehicle had about a quarter of the rear end of the carriage embedded in the windshield of the car.” The car hit the rear of the carriage with such force that the carriage broke apart.

"The carriage actually rolled over three times and the carriage was sitting on top of the car," witness Kenneth Young told KPRC-TV.

A third carriage passenger, Holli Vowell, 18, who lives in Galveston County, was severely injured.

The carriage operator, Joe Hodsdon, 26, also of Galveston County,suffered a broken neck and psychological trauma.He had no insurance and mounting medical bills so his mother set up a benefit fund to help him.

The horse had a cut to its leg but was released to its owner.

The driver, Michael Grayson of Conroe was charged with one count of intoxication manslaughter and three counts of intoxication assault with a vehicle, and jailed on bonds totaling $300,000, jail records show.

McKelvey's estate is represented by S. Scott West with West Law Firm in Sugar Land and is seeking at least $100,000 in damages and a jury trial, according to South East Texas Legal Journal.
Galveston County 405th District Court Judge Wayne Mallia is presiding over the case.Case No. 12-cv-1748


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