TX Lawmaker Killed in Wreck

5-6-05 - AUSTIN, Texas (AP) A pall has been cast over the Texas Capitol after the predawn traffic death of Houston state Representative Joseph Moreno.

The 40-year-old Democrat was killed when the pickup truck he was driving overturned on a State Highway 71 near La Grange.

State Representative Rafael Anchia of Dallas and a legislative staffer were injured in the accident.

The accident happened as the three returned to Austin from the Dallas Mavericks-Houston Rockets playoff basketball game in Houston.

A statement from state House Speaker Tom Craddick's office says Anchia -- a 36-year-old Democrat -- was treated for minor injuries and released from an Austin hospital. Still hospitalized is 28-year-old Monica Lisa Pinon of Austin, who's chief of staff to Democratic state Representative Joseph Pickett of El Paso.

In the statement, Craddick said the House is in shock this morning over the death of Moreno, whom he called "a young man with a bright future."

The Texas Department of Public Safety says Moreno apparently overcorrected when the truck slipped off the left shoulder of the westbound lane. The truck veered into the median and flipped several times. All three of the truck's occupants wore seat belts.

Moreno was first elected to the House in 1998. Anchia was elected in 2004.