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Texas briefs 3-14-19

Experts: Choppy air unlikely crash cause

DALLAS — Aviation experts say they doubt turbulence could have brought down a cargo jet that crashed into a Texas bay in February, speculating that human error or a massive malfunction are more likely culprits.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating why Atlas Air Flight 3591 suddenly dropped as it approached a Houston airport.

Flight safety specialists see the details already released as too little to solve the mysteries of the flight’s final moments, but enough to rule out choppy air as a likely cause.

“Airplanes operate in situations like that all the time,” says John Cox, an accident investigator and retired pilot.

Cox says investigators are probably focused on three events in the Boeing 767′s last minutes: an engine surge, a small drift up and the plummet toward Trinity Bay.

Officer charged in sex abuse case

GALVESTON — Sheriff’s officials in Texas have charged a police officer with two counts of sexual abuse amid allegations that he inappropriately touched an underage girl.

Galveston officer Dion Allen Watson is charged with indecency with a child by sexual contact. The 50-year-old Watson was taken into custody based on an arrest warrant issued Tuesday. Online records indicate he was no longer being held as of Wednesday at the Galveston County jail.

Galveston County sheriff’s officials say the investigation began in January when school administrators forwarded allegations of abuse to Child Protective Services.

A sheriff’s affidavit alleges Watson inappropriately touched the girl over a four-year period. Investigators say the abuse occurred at his apartment.

He denied the allegations to investigators.

Trooper stable after hit and run

SUGAR LAND — A Texas Department of Public Safety trooper is in stable condition after being injured in a hit-and-run collision in a Houston suburb.

Authorities say the trooper had stopped a driver during a traffic stop around 1 a.m. Wednesday when he was struck by a passing vehicle on U.S. Highway 59 in Sugar Land.

DPS officials say the driver of the vehicle that hit the trooper then fled the scene.

The trooper, whose name was not immediately released, was taken to a Houston hospital.

The driver, who was not immediately identified, was later stopped by authorities and arrested.

Storm: Planes flip, buildings damaged

DALLAS — Severe thunderstorms in Texas have left at least one person hurt, damaged buildings and flipped small planes at suburban Dallas airport.

The Storm Prediction Center says gusts of more than 75 mph (120 kph) were reported Wednesday morning at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Several small private planes at nearby Grand Prairie Municipal Airport were overturned by the winds.

Emergency officials in Johnson County say a mobile home rolled onto a parked vehicle about 20 miles (32.19 kilometers) south of Fort Worth. One person in the residence, near Cleburne, was injured. Further details on her weren’t immediately available.