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TX- Man may have caused crash that killed him, four others

Posted in Related Deaths
6-2-2006 Texas:

HOUSTON (AP) - Investigators now believe a May 16 crash that killed five people on a rural Southeast Texas road might have been intentionally caused by one of the drivers, a man whose stepdaughter had accused him of sexual abuse.

The collision happened after a pickup truck veered off the road, came back on and slammed into an oncoming tractor-trailer rig. The wreck happened near Liberty, about 50 miles northeast of Houston.

Authorities said William Pete DeShayes III "intentionally" swerved his pickup into the path of the tractor-trailer, possibly because a 15-year-old stepdaughter not involved in the crash was preparing to go public with her accusations against him of sexual abuse.

Killed in the accident were DeShayes, 40, from Splendora; his 11-year-old daughter Mariah; and 10-year-old daughter Hayven. Another daughter, Deborah Nicole DeShayes, 14, survived the crash. Also killed were the couple driving the big rig.

"I think he may have been trying to kill the children, too," said Trooper Sean Cheshire of the Texas Department of Public Safety. "The evidence points to it. He took no evasive action. He thought warrants were out for his arrest."

Nicole DeShayes told authorities the last thing she heard her father say before he turned the steering wheel and headed toward the 18-wheeler was that his chest was hurting and that he was "sorry." She told the DPS investigator later that she felt her father had intentionally caused the accident.

Mary DeShayes, William DeShaye's ex-wife, said that on the night of the accident she and her 15-year-old daughter went to police in Rockdale after the girl said her stepfather had abused her for the past four years.

Police note that in the days and hours before the wreck, William DeShayes had repeatedly telephoned and sent desperate text messages to the girl. He called Rockdale police at least three times wanting to know if "assault charges" had been filed against him.

The dead man's mother, Linda Gilmore, vehemently denied the allegations of a murder-suicide, blaming the attack on a possible heart attack.

"I know he would not deliberately try and hurt them babies," she said. "They were his life, his world."

But Mary DeShayes said "he felt if he died that he'd be glorified and nobody would know his secrets."

Child Protective Services has opened an investigation into the sexual abuse allegation against William DeShayes, and into the wreck.

"We will look at the accident report to try to figure out what happened," said Chris Van Deusen, CPS spokesman in Austin. "We will make sure the two surviving girls are cared for and given counseling." ..more.. by AP

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