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Volume 68, Issue 136, April 18, 2003

News

Tran, UH junior, dies in accident

By Matt Dulin
The Daily Cougar

Vera Tran, 21, a biology junior at UH, wanted to be a doctor, but her dreams died Tuesday when a tragic traffic accident claimed her life.

Tran was killed when an 18-wheeler slammed into her vehicle Tuesday at 3:05 p.m.

According to the Houston Police Department report described by an HPD spokesman, the 18-wheeler was headed west on Ernestine towards the Gulf Freeway service road, on which Tran was driving in her Honda Accord. At the intersection of Ernestine and the service road, the driver of the 18-wheeler passed the stop sign and did not see Tranis vehicle approaching.

The resulting collision slammed the car into a concrete column, and the 18-wheller subsequently ran over the vehicle, crushing it.

Tran, from Pearland, died on the scene, a police spokesman said. 

Tran was salutatorian when she graduated from Michael E. Debakey High School for Health Professions in 2000 and was a recipient of the UH-Baylor Pre-Medical Academy scholarship.

"Itis very tragic. We are all saddened by her death we just canit believe it," Charlesetta Deason, principal of Tranis high school, said. "She was a model student, everything a principal would like to see in a student."

Deason described Tran as being headstrong, intelligent and well on her way to becoming a physician. She could have graduated as early as this fall, a full semester ahead of schedule.

"She was brilliant. She won many awards in calculus, physics and she helped tutor underclassmen" as a part of the 100-hour volunteer service requirement for the high school, Deason said.

Her death marked the 60th traffic fatality this year, the police spokesman said.

The incident is currently under investigation by HPD and any findings will be sent to the District Attorneyis office for consideration of charges, if any. Alcohol did not a appear to be a factor in the accident, police said.

A funeral service is planned Saturday. Sympathies and flowers can be addressed to Winford Funeral Home, which also holds the Vietnamese name Vinh Phuok, at 8514 Tybor Drive. 

 Send comments to dcnews@mail.uh.edu

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