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San Jacinto News Times - Local News

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County Judge involved in two-vehicle accident


By Megan Whitworth
San Jacinto News-Times editor

In an unusual procedure, a DPS report didn't list the names of two drivers involved in a two-vehicle accident on FM 2666 near Shepherd on Monday, May 1. However, San Jacinto County Judge John Lovett, Jr. did confirm in a statement he was the driver of a grey Ford truck that was involved in the accident. He was cited for failure to maintain financial responsibility by not having insurance, and a charge of driving on the wrong side of the roadway is currently pending. The other driver of a black Toyota Prius was a teenage girl, Lovett said. The report stated that Lovett was traveling eastbound on FM 2666 outside of Shepherd. He exited a left curve and was approaching the hillcrest in a no passing zone. The other driver was driving westbound. That is when both vehicles collided causing damage to both vehicles. The report displayed the teenage girl's Prius was in the ditch after the accident. Lovett told investigators he was on his phone before he hit the other vehicle. An eye witness, following Lovett, told DPS, they observed the County Judge cross over the center yellow lines multiples times. "When the accident occurred, I had crossed over the center line because I was trying to arrange for an emergency mental health detention warrant as part of my official duties, and was on my way to the courthouse to interview the applicant," Lovett said. In regards to the lack of insurance, Lovett said he recently changed insurance carries and set up insurance with a local agency on April 12 to combine his auto policy with his homeowner's policy. "For some reason, that policy had not yet been submitted and bound," he said. "I have taken immediate steps to remedy this." Lovett voluntary submitted to a blood draw "to prove that there was no impairment in an effort to avoid rampant speculation." DPS is waiting on pending toxicology results to complete reports. "I deeply regret this error," Lovett said. "I was not texting and driving, but I was distracted by my phone and trying to dial, and this was a mistake on my part." In next week's issue, News- Time reporters are taking a look into the numbers of car accidents caused by distracted driving and how officials are working on getting those numbers down in San Jacinto County.


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