Accident was in town early Sunday morning

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, The Premont Journal

An autopsy is pending on a Premont man who died after police said he hit a utility pole, drove into a fence and hit the side of a tree Sunday about 4 a.m.

The deceased man was identified as 22-year-old Damian Rodriguez, who died on impact on the intersection of Southeast 3rd and South Albert Street, officials said. Rodriguez was driving a 2007 Uplander Chevrolet Van. His passenger, a 16-year-old, sustained injuries in the one-vehicle crash.

"The young man was taken to the hospital and the driver was deceased at the scene," Police Chief Fidencio Hinojosa said. "He lost control and we think speed was a factor. (Rodriguez) split the pole in half."

An autopsy on Rodriguez is pending on the cause of the crash, officials said.

The speed limit in the area is 30 miles per hour, Hinojosa said. Rodriguez was pronounced dead at 5 a.m. and the passenger was transported by ambulance to CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Alice with non-life threatening injuries, officials said. Police officials were not sure if Rodriguez and his passenger were wearing their seatbelts, but neither was ejected from the vehicle.

During the accident, Premont residents were without power for about six hours from 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. Sunday, officials said.

The Jim Wells County sheriff's department, La Paloma EMS, Guardian EMS from Alice and the Premont Volunteer Fire Department assisted the Premont Police Department with the accident.