Some folks in Texas have been enjoying much needed rain lately, but lately have been seeing too much of this good stuff. Flooding has been rampant across the central belt of the state for the last couple of weeks, and Northeast Texas creeks remain over their banks from continuing rains.
Flash flooding is commonplace here in the Spring. Fifteen minutes of a good deluge can quickly result in water over roadways. The rescues of amazingly stupid people are also commonplace, but we have one doosey of a story to talk about since the weekend…the case of the four Texas State University students who face a legal mess for their actions of gross idiocy. Their parents must be overwhelmed…
Last Saturday night, there was a big party at the TSU Kappa-Sigma frat house, which sits on the bank of the Blanco River just up from the Quail Creek Country Club in eastern picturesque San Marcos, Texas. As the saying goes, “Everything’s big in Texas” and that is certainly applicable to this particular party. It was a wild one, lots of booze, lots of kids, and (in their minds) lots of fun. Believe it or not, straight from the annals of Animal House, the event was a white-sheeted Toga Party no less.
It’s important to know in the previous week, the San Marcos area had received nearly 14 inches of rain, and there was a doosey of a thunderstorm late that very Saturday night adding almost another inch to the totals. A gross understatement would be to say the creeks were rising. They were way, way past that sublime stage.
In the wee hours of Sunday morning, 19-year-old Brit Michael Walker loaded up three of his pals into his pickup truck and headed back to campus. Along for the ride were Kati Walker, 18, Matthew Belisle, 19, and 20-year-old Mustafa Shadid, all four TSU-San Marcos students hailing from the Dallas area. Brit Walker, by the way, was quite drunk, and it is presumed so were his passengers, all attending the same frat party together.
Well, along the way, Brit drove up to a whole grouping of barricades at the Uhland Road bridge over the Blanco River and proceeded to drive right around them, driving right into extremely fast-moving water that had covered the bridge by at least a foot of raging water. Still feeling fearless from the night’s toga’ing, Brit pointed his pickup in the likely direction of the roadway and soon the four found themselves being swept away some 40 yards into the swollen river. Fortunately, the truck was an older one with manual windows, because at one lightening quick point, the water inside the truck was up to their noses. They rolled down the windows and hopped into the bed of the truck as it slowly lunged, slipped and slid toward deeper water.
Also fortunately, one of the four saturated cell phones still worked and 911 was called. The fire department was working at a serious collision on the nearby interstate when the call came in and they dispatched a ladder truck, among other response teams, to pluck the four from the raging Blanco.
The rescue teams did another wonderful job of saving lives. They posted crews downstream in the event anyone fell in during the rescue, but the rescue went off without a hitch. As soon as Brit Walker finished peeing from the back of the pickup bed, the four escaped danger two at a time climbing over the extended ladder from the fire truck.
Once safely ashore, the four drunk idiots were taken one block away from the site to the Sheriff’s Office, where they were given dry jail inmate coveralls and bestowed with some criminal charges for their egregious stupidity and for deliberately placing themselves and the rescue teams in needless danger.
Brit Walker faces a DWI charge, and one for deadly conduct.
Kati Walker, Matthew Belisle and Mustafa Shadid face charges of public intoxication.
All four have now been released on bond into their parents’ custody to await trial.
But that’s only the beginning…
The Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission wants to know all about the Kappa-Sigma Toga Party now. Why was alcohol there (since that’s a big legislated no-no)? How much alcohol was at the party? Who brought it? And who allowed underage kids to imbibe their fill? And, while we’re at it, just who WAS at the party? Who else in an underage condition was drinking? What’s the history of Kappa-Sigma booze parties at TSU? What other frats or sororities there are holding similar parties? What is TSU doing to monitor their greeksters? What’s going on in the dorm rooms, by the way…?
I can only imagine the hypertensive crises among the TSU board members, faculty and Kappa-Sig members, and the students in general. There’s a lot of “splainin’” to do and a lot of heads are going to roll on this one, I assure you.
Thank God, four stupid, drunk young people are alive today to face the consequences of incredibly wrong decisions made throughout that night. Their parents are surely overjoyed at their safety, but I’m banking that they’re infuriated in having to now cough up what will likely be a year’s cost for tuition to get their children’s arses out of a big legal fiasco.
Please do read on.
Here’s the video of the rescue from KVUE TV in
Austin: http://www.kvue.com/sharedcontent/VideoPlayer/videoPlayer.php?vidId=132762 There is also an audio feed here of the 911 call made by Brit Walker available. Unbelievable.
And lastly, another account, but with a mugshot of an inebriated Brit Walker to make any mother cringe… http://www.myfoxaustin.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=2820566&version=4&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=3.2.1