A two-car crash took three lives on Friday afternoon. This Baylor County wreck happened on Highway 82, about 10 miles outside of Seymour, after 3:00 p.m. Troopers with the Texas Department of Public Safety said that the driver of a Chevrolet Equinox was heading the wrong way on 82 when she struck a Ford Mustang. The driver of the Mustang was headed eastbound on 82 and was getting ready to pass another vehicle on the road prior to the crash. The driver of the Mustang didn’t see that the Equinox was heading the wrong way, and the two automobiles collided head on. The Equinox burst into flames. About a mile of the eastbound lane of Highway 82 had to be closed for investigations.
KFDX News has recently released the identities of the three victims who were killed in the wreck. The Equinox was driven by 79-year-old Ann Marie Thomas of Wichita Falls. The driver of the Mustang, 19-year-old Bethany Loper of Holliday, and her passenger, 18-year-old Brittney Woollis, were also killed in the crash. All three women were pronounced dead on the scene.
Very few details have been released about this terrible crash. Investigations are likely still underway to determine why the Equinox was travelling in the wrong direction. Authorities were on the scene from Seymour Police and Fire, Department of Public Safety and Baylor County investigating the crash. Witnesses did report trying to alert the driver of the Equinox about going the wrong direction. They tried to get her attention, so she would slow down or turn around. Sadly, they weren’t able to alert the driver in time.
In wrong-way crashes, investigators often look into impaired driving as a factor. Investigators usually try to rule out drugs or alcohol first. Law enforcement officials might also be looking into the driver’s fitness for driving. It is common for vision problems, dementia or cognitive deterioration to be factors in wrong-way crashes involving elderly drivers. Investigators will likely check in to the driver’s recent motor vehicle history to check for similar incidents or offenses. In August, we reported on a $5.2 million judgment for an injured motorcyclist. He was struck by an elderly driver who was going the wrong way down an exit ramp. The team at the Altman Legal Group sends their deepest condolences to the family members and friends of the victims of this tragic crash.