HOUSTON—It was a sad day at Pearland High School as students struggled with the news that one of their peers died over the weekend.
Friends say Devin Mattlage was 20 years old.
The tragedy unfolded around 1:00 Sunday morning. Police say James Benjamin Aulds, "Benji," was intoxicated when he was driving westbound on the the South Sam Houston Parkway East serivce road. He has been charged with intoxication assault because his passenger was hurt in the accident.
Police have not said whether speed was a factor but they say Aulds hit the curb, lost control and landed at the bottom of a 30-foot-deep construction pit that was located within feet of the road, just past the intersection with Pearland Parkway.
Mattlage, who was in another car, ran to help his friends down in the ditch but in the process, he broke his neck and died at the scene.
Friends say Aulds and his passenger are expected to be okay.
The accident site is a convenience store in the making.