Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Breaking News

Local News

April 3, 2013

Woman receives sentence

Jessica Hyde found guilty in bridge collision

Athens — On Thursday, March 28, Jessica Dawn Hyde was sentenced for causing an automobile crash on a bridge portion of State Highway 198.  This was after an all-day punishment hearing that lasted past 6:30 p.m.

Judge Dan Moore found Hyde guilty of the offense of Aggravated Assault Causing Serious Bodily Injury, and placed her on 10 years of probation for her actions back on Oct. 14, 2011.  The 4-month pregnant mother of four children was taken into custody that evening to serve a 180-day jail sentence as a condition of her probation.

Henderson County Assistant District Attorneys Justin Weiner and Danny Cox presented evidence on behalf of Scott McKee’s District Attorney’s Office.

It was an emotional scene that evening as the courtroom was filled with Hyde’s family members, as well as her victim’s and their families. Hyde, on Feb. 6, 2013, plead no-contest to the charge, waived her right to a jury trial, and agreed to have the Court assess her punishment. 

The State called four witnesses, the first of which was Joe Gomez, a State Trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety.  He testified that the accident reconstruction, contrary to the claims of Hyde, produced no evidence of Hyde losing control of her vehicle.  The blackbox that was pulled from Hyde’s vehicle showed that three seconds before impact, she was traveling 78 m.p.h., with the throttle at 100-percent acceleration.  This, of course, was while she was driving on a bridge in Gun Barrel City that had a speed limit of 45 m.p.h., was under construction, had one lane closed, and was a no-passing zone. 

Gomez testified that Hyde’s vehicle, which contained her then-boyfriend, and three of her children, swerved intentionally into oncoming traffic, and struck another vehicle head-on. A witness told an emergency first-responder that Hyde was arguing with her boyfriend, and said she was going to kill everyone in the car, before jerking the steering wheel and causing the crash.

Randel Hyde, the woman’s former husband, and the father of two of the children in Hyde’s vehicle, spoke of the multiple admissions to Children’s Hospital for his son, who received multiple broken bones as a result of the crash.  He testified that his other child still has emotional outbursts and nightmares since she was involved in the crash.

The car that Hyde struck was occupied by Corey Daugherty, his fiancé at the time, along with Beth Binkely and her youngest son. Binkely gave vivid details about the crash.  She remembered the air conditioning unit and the stereo becoming dislodged after the impact, and hitting her in the face so hard that she could barely see. 

She testified that she  blacked out for a moments, and awoke to her son’s screams.  She testified that her son received multiple broken bones in his arm, and will never be able to fully extend one of his arms as a result of his injuries.

Daugherty, the driver of the vehicle Hyde struck, gave chilling and gruesome details of his injuries. He was conscious and physically-stuck in the vehicle while emergency responders had to cut him out.  This became very difficult as part of the metal door had become lodged into his leg.  He was on life support for five days, and spent nine weeks in the hospital.

ADA Weiner introduced images of Corey’s legs, which have been the focus of 23 surgeries, with two more scheduled in the near future.  Corey testified from a wheelchair, which is the only way he can move around today.  The testimony, already emotional, took an even more tragic tone when he told the Court that there is not much of a chance that he will ever walk again. 

Daugherty fought back tears as he told the court about owning his own company, being engaged, and loving to bass fish. Since the accident, he is unable to work, his engagement ended, and Daugherty has racked up medical bills in excess of $800,000.

Several of Hyde’s family members testified before Hyde ultimately took the stand.  She stated that she was remorseful for what happened, and attempted to apologize to Daugherty, for the first time, from the witness stand.  Hyde claimed that she blacked out, and didn’t remember anything before, during, or right after the crash. 

After the hearing ADA Weiner stated: “Anyone could have been crossing the bridge, and been struck by Hyde that day. This is a difficult case, because regardless of the sentence, Daugherty may never walk again. I just hope that the hearing will bring Daugherty and the other victims the closure that they needed, so someday they can begin to try to put this behind them, though I can’t begin to comprehend how difficult that will be.”

An order for confinement was signed, and Hyde was remanded to the Henderson County Jail to serve out her 180-day sentence as a condition of probation.


Text Only
Local News
  • • DSC_0162.JPG Ramps for handicapped

    Encino Landscaping is doing a necessary job for the Texas Department of Transportation Tyler District. All four corners of the block upon which the Henderson County Courthouse rests are being converted to better serve handicapped pedestrians.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Appearance and operation of Splash Pad upgraded

    The Splash Pad at Athens Kiwanis Park has been closed this week, as work is being done that will upgrade the appearance of the surroundings and operation of the facility.
    The pad is now well into its first full summer of operation, and has proven to be a popular spot for youngsters in the city.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif GBC official asked to resign

    Gun Barrel City resident Carroll Strickland asked Councilman Marty Goss “to do the right thing and resign.”
    Strickland spoke to the GBC council during the citizen's comment portion of the Tuesday evening’s council meeting. Strickland  accused Goss of trying to take over the GBC Economic Development Corporation (EDC).
    In a prepared statement, Strickland said,  “Marty is doing harm to the city's reputation. I am asking the mayor and the city council to do something about the situation.”

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Nutt says being part of task force has really paid off

    Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt reports that being a part of the Drug Enforcement Task Force in Tyler has paid off in a big way with the arrest of two major drug distributors.
    On May 13, following an investigation initiated in January by the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office investigators, Uleyses Roberts, 45, and Dijon Howard, 25, were arrested by a task force of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The men were charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Unemployment jumps up in HC

    The Henderson County unemployment rate jumped up in July, according to figures from the Texas Workforce Commission.
    The Henderson County unemployment rate of 5.7 percent was an increase of .4 percent over June. The county saw both an increase in the size of the workforce and the number without jobs.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-24 gbc.jpeg Gift card to Chili’s

    Ralph Fortner, Chairman of the Gun Barrel City Chapter of the Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, presents Jamie Snuffer a gift card to Chili's Restaurant in Gun Barrel City. Fortner was thanking Snuffer for her volunteer efforts on behalf of the GBC Chamber Chapter during the recent July Fest held in GBC. Snuffer is the secretary for the CCLACC Ambassadors.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-23 Coaches at Kiwanis.jpg Coaches speak to Kiwanis Club

    Trinity Valley Community College Volleyball Coach Tosha Spain and Softball Coach Ashley Johnston were guest speakers at the Athens Kiwanis Club on Tuesday. The volleyball season begins in August, and the softball team starts its 30-game fall schedule in September.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-23 Victoria.jpg Emotional response given to Victoria's death

    The tragic news of 4-year-old Victoria Wyatt’s violent death set off an emotional response on Monday, with words of consolation for the child’s family and anger at the girl’s mother who admitted to taking her life. But mostly sorrow at the loss of one so young.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif AISD readies for annual backpack distribution

    Athens Independent School District and the Help Center are teaming up once again to provide backpacks and supplies to students in need.
    The annual Back-to-School Bash is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 9 at the Athens High School gym during the family fun day.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-23 Open house grace house.jpg Open house at Grace House transition location

    Grace House of Cedar Creek Lake, a faith-based transitional home for women, held an open house on Monday evening. The facility for women is 6,000 square feet on 13 acres in Tool.
    Grace House includes a kitchen and a classroom equipped with computers for training and practice, as well as dorm-type rooms for the residents.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo