|Birth: ||Jan. 7, 1986|
|Death: ||Mar. 23, 2013|
Nathan Clouse loved tinkering with cars. So much so that he posted a photo of his favorite dark shiny vehicle as his profile shot on Facebook, rather than one of himself.
So naturally, he was excited about the prospect of working on the 2000 Volkswagen Jetta that he recently bought for his wife, Jennifer.
Their lives, as well as those of their two children, would end inside that car after a violent collision with a pickup truck Saturday morning on a misty Texas 105 near Conroe.
The entire family - the couple and their 8-year-old daughter, Bailey, and 6-year-old son, Jordan - died instantly.
The pickup truck's driver, 40-year-old Kevin Golden of New Caney, was taken to Hermann Memorial Hospital in critical condition, where he remains.
Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and the Montgomery County district attorney's office have been trying to piece together whether the collision was the result of criminal conduct or road conditions. Investigators found no sign of skid marks.
One thing that the assistant district attorney, Warren Diepraam, is certain about is that this is the worst accident he's seen of the thousand he's investigated. The impact after Golden lost control of his 2003 Dodge Ram pickup and veered into the path of the Volkswagen was so powerful that it detached the Jetta's engine and tossed it onto the road where it was hit by two other vehicles.
Only one other Montgomery county wreck, which occurred in 2009 on Texas 249, has been deadlier.
In that one, five died, including four from the same family, while en route to a birthday party. Their vehicle was crushed by another driven by 23-year-old Brandon Lee Ferguson, who had been racing at speeds over 100 mph. He was convicted of manslaughter and aggravated assault and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
No texting, no alcohol
In this latest crash, DPS Sgt. Derek Leitner has determined that neither vehicle was racing and both were traveling about the same speed.
Also, he has reviewed cell phone records and determined nobody was texting or using them.
No alcohol was found in Golden's system based on blood tests done at the hospital, but authorities are still awaiting toxicology reports that check for drugs.
One critical factor has been verified: the road was very slick. As a result of the drought, oily residue had collected and combined with a misty rain, making the road very slippery, Leitner said.
Diepraam said he was aware of "a few" other fatalities along this same quarter-mile stretch of Texas 105. "It's been known as a dangerous intersection," he said.
He notes the road has no protective barrier separating the two-way traffic where the speed limit is 60 mph. Also, a curve is on an incline.
Crosses for other traffic fatalities fall along this stretch of Texas 105, joined by flowered ones placed for the Clouse family, who lived in Cleveland.
Jennifer Clouse had been driving her husband to his mechanic job where he worked on industrial centrifuges, while Golden was headed for his job as a mechanic for a trucking company, authorities said.
"Everybody is broken-hearted by such loss," said Dorothy McCreight, spokeswoman for Tarkington Primary where the Clouse children attended first and third grades.
Jessica Moore, who once taught the young girl, described her as a "friend to everyone she met," recalling how she would give her brother a hug whenever she saw him. Moore still keeps a picture that includes the girl's handprints in which she expresses her love for her teacher.
Nathan Clouse's aunt, Sarah Chunn, described the brother as a "spitfire" who was "fascinated by everything and always up for a challenge."
Jennifer was known to be not only loving of children, but also animals. She worked as a veterinarian's technician for seven years and raised different critters, including a ferret that resides there now.
Golden was single and his family could not be reached for comment
Bailey Ann Clouse (2004 - 2013)*
Jordan Beu Clouse (2006 - 2013)*
Created by: Anonymous Child
Record added: Mar 26, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 107325932
So, so sad. At rest with your husband and children for eternity.|
forever an angel
Added: Mar. 30, 2015
Dearest Jennifer, you will live forever in the hearts and minds of those who knew you. May God embrace you in His arms with your family. We don't know the why's or understand this, but we have faith. Forever in eternity with your little family and in God'...(Read more)|
Added: Apr. 8, 2013
I wish I knew what to say other than I am so sorry this happened to your young family. The only comfort I can find is the fact you are all together, forever. Rest in Peace.|
Added: Mar. 28, 2013