Montgomery Student Killed by a Drunk Driver (Catherine Lynn Roberts)
By ELLIOTT COCHRAN
An auto-pedestrian DUI hit and run occurred early Sunday morning resulted in the death of an 18-year-old Montgomery High School student and the arrest of an Oak Ridge High School employee who allegedly fled the scene, according to Conroe Police officials.
Meghann Marie Smith, 18, of Montgomery, was struck and killed around 4 a.m. by a vehicle allegedly driven by Catherine Lynn Roberts, 46, a Conroe resident and employee of Oak Ridge High School. According to officials, Roberts allegedly fled the scene in the 12000 block of Texas 105 West after speaking with Smith’s boyfriend, Lance Barton, 19, son of former Conroe Mayor Carl Barton Jr.
Conroe Police Sgt. Jon Buckholtz said Barton was changing a flat tire on Smith’s vehicle when Roberts allegedly struck and killed Smith and struck Barton’s foot and ankle.
Buckholtz said Roberts stopped and exited her 2004 GMC Yukon to talk with Barton, but upon hearing that she struck Smith, denied the incident and fled the scene.
“The boyfriend had his wits about him to call the department and give them a description of the vehicle and the driver in detail,” he said. “He did the right thing.”
Conroe Police Officer Gerrit Wolfhagen was on his way to the scene of the accident and was near the intersection of FM 2854 and West Loop 336 when he identified Roberts’ black SUV and made a traffic stop.
Buckholtz said Roberts failed a field sobriety test and her blood-alcohol level exceeded the state limit of .08 percent.
According to a press release from the Conroe Police Department, state law mandates that drivers involved in fatality accidents submit to a blood test and a blood sample was obtained from Roberts at a local hospital.
Roberts was booked into the Montgomery County Jail around 7:30 a.m. and charged with intoxication manslaughter and failure to stop and render aid, with a $50,000 accumulative bond.
She posted bond and was released Sunday afternoon.
Smith’s family received the news from Buckholtz after the scene was cleared by law enforcement officials and are devastated that the life of their young girl was taken.
Smith’s mother, Margaret, said her young and beautiful daughter was full of life, had big dreams for the future and was looking forward to meeting the baby her 22-year-old sister is expecting in December.
“She was the backbone of our family and such a sweetheart and a special daughter,” she said. “It’s a nightmare. I keep thinking she’s going to walk through the door, but reality hasn’t set in.”
The pain of her daughter’s death is compounded, Margaret Smith said, because of Meghann’s desire to become a police officer following an accident involving Meghann’s father, Doug.
“One of her goals was to be a police officer to take all the drunk drivers off the roads,” she said. “Her father was injured after a drunk driver hit him when Meghann was 2 years old.”
Funeral arrangements are pending, but will be held at Cashner Funeral Home.
The Conroe Police Department’s investigation continues.
Additional News Story:
Teen Killed By Hit-Run Driver
October 26, 2008
The driver of an SUV that fatally struck an 18-year-old woman (Meghann Marie Smith) in Conroe early this morning has been charged with intoxication manslaughter, authorities said.
Catherine Roberts, 46, was driving a 2004 Yukon down the 12000 block of West Davis Street at 3:50 a.m. when she failed to stay in her lane and struck Meghann Marie Smith and Lance Asa Barton,19, killing Smith, authorities said.
Barton was also struck, but the extent of his injuries was not released Sunday.
Investigators said the pair had apparently stopped to change a flat tire on their vehicle.
Authorities said Roberts allegedly stopped near Smith's body after the accident and got out of her SUV, but then returned to her vehicle and fled the scene.
Conroe Police later found Roberts and her vehicle near the intersection of FM 2854 and Loop 336.
In addition to intoxication manslaughter, Roberts was arrested for one count of felony failure to stop and render aid. She was taken to Montgomery County jail and is being held on a $50,000 bond.