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‘Hey, You Just Hit This Lady’: Family of Houston Woman Dragged 20 Feet to Her Death By Garbage Truck Seeks Answers Through Lawsuit; Witness Had to Flag Down Driver

The family of 27-year-old Bre’Ana Powell of Houston is still coping with their new reality. Their loved one is no longer here after being hit by a garbage truck.

“Primarily they just want answers,” Muhammad Aziz, Powell’s family hired attorney said. “Mom’s been in a state of shock, she just can’t believe Bre’Ana has passed away,” he continued.

Aziz is representing Bre’Ana Powell’s family in their million-dollar wrongful death lawsuit against Republic Waste Services of Texas. Powell was hit and killed by one of the company’s garbage trucks on the morning of Oct. 8, and lingering questions persist nearly two months after the fatal accident.

“Bright yellow reflective vest that she would wear at work is also what she would wear while bicycling her way to the apartment,” Aziz said.

Powell worked at Houston’s Hobby Airport as part of the ground crew, guiding airplanes on the tarmac. The morning of the incident, she was riding her bicycle home around 6:35 in the morning while leaving her overnight shift.

According to the lawsuit, Powell was riding northbound on the sidewalk of Broadway Street, about four blocks away from Hobby airport. As Powell neared the intersection of Broadway and Moreley Street, a four-lane intersection, a Republic Waste Services garbage truck also traveling northbound was stopped at a traffic light. It was here Powell and the truck collided as the truck driver, identified as Jonathan Woods, made a sudden right turn through the crosswalk where Powell was trying to cross.

“As she entered the intersection of the roadway, the garbage truck unexpectedly took a right turn and there’s going to be controversy on whether he had his turn signal on or not,” Aziz said.

The Houston Press reports, Woods claimed he did not see Powell although the witnesses reported they were able to see her due to the reflective vest she was wearing. Questions of whether Woods had his turn signal activated is still under investigation by Houston Police, so far, no criminal charges have been filed.

“The actual impact happened in the intersection, in the crosswalk when he took a right, hit her, knocked her out of her shoes, and dragged ger 20 feet or so and then attempted to go on,” Aziz said.

Aziz says nearby surveillance cameras captured the accident on video, but the video has not been released by police at this time.

“One of these witnesses had to track him down, honked their horn and said, hey, you just hit this lady, then he pulled over into a parking lot,” Aziz said.

Atlanta Black Star sought more details from Houston police on the fatal traffic crash, but our requests have not been returned by the time of this report.

Although the police report has not been released at this time, the crash report provides additional insight to the crash. Interestingly, the report described the driver’s race as unknown despite the cops looking at Woods and having his driver’s license in their hands. The crash report also indicates no drug test was administered to Woods at the time of the accident.

The crash report gives possible insight to the signaling at the time of the crash. It says, Powell “disregarded stop and go signal displaying a solid red and was struck [by the garbage truck] while proceeding north in the crosswalk.” It remains unclear from that description why Woods would not be cited for failing to yield and turning to run over Powell in the crosswalk no matter what the state of the stop and go signal at the intersection.

“If they’re going to move forward with some type of charges, they need to do that or they need to close the investigation, there’s nothing more left to have an open-ended open investigation that is open for months,” Aziz said.

As the family’s quest for answers continues, their wrongful death lawsuit pins responsibility on Republic Waste Services. In a statement sent to Atlanta Black Star, the company said, they are unable to comment on pending litigation.

Powell loved animals and was working to pay her way through school to work in veterinary care. Aziz says the close-knit family is preparing for the holiday season without their loved one.

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