, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

December 2, 2006

Mother, daughter killed in car accident

PORT NECHES — A Port Neches-Groves High School junior and her mother, a local hair stylist, are dead after their vehicle was struck by a drunk driver Friday.

Karmen Nichole Dupuis, 17, and Rowena Frances Dupuis, 52, were in a 2000 Ford Focus when a 1987 Ford F-350 pickup truck ran the red light at the intersection of FM 366 and Merriman Street, striking the Dupuis’ vehicle and causing it to spin into traffic and hit a third vehicle. A fourth vehicle that was stopped at the light was also struck during the accident.

Port Neches Police Sgt. Billy Ponder said the driver of the truck, a man is his mid-20s, is in custody on charges of intoxicated manslaughter. Police are waiting to file formal charged with the district attorney early next week. An employee at the Jefferson County Jail released the name of the suspect; Colin Romero, 26, of Port Neches. Romero is being held on a $75,000 bond.

Ponder said the two victims were trapped in the vehicle for more than an hour and the Jaws of Life were used to remove the pair.

The two deaths have left the community in grief.

“I cannot tell you what wonderful child she (Karmen) was,” Kay Doucet, choir director at PN-G High School, said. “She had a positive attitude about everything, was in the top 2 percent of her class, a member of the Future Teachers of America club and active in her youth organization at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church.”

The junior was scheduled to be an aide in Doucet’s class in the next year.

“She had just told me that at Thanksgiving her family had went to play putt-putt golf and an aunt persuaded Karmen’s father to play. He’s legally blind but made a hole in one,” the teacher said.

Doucet said she began receiving phone calls from her students Friday night who were upset over the news of their friend’s death. She anticipates that Monday will be tough for her and the students.

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