A two-vehicle wreck in Cotton County left one woman in the hospital. This July 4th crash happened on Highway 277. The victim, Pamela H. Rawdon of Terral, was actually trapped in her automobile for about a half hour before rescue crews could free her. She was then transported to a hospital in Wichita Falls. Her Dodge Neon was hit by a Chevrolet pickup truck. Rawdon was heading westbound on Cotton County Highway 277 when the pickup truck failed to stop at a stop sign. The truck, driven by Gary L. Looney of Randlett, then struck the front of the Neon.
The Randlett Fire Department was on the scene for nearly 30 minutes trying to free the pinned-in victim. She had to be airlifted from the scene. The Waurika News-Democrat reports that Rawdon suffered from internal trunk, arm and leg injuries. Looney was issued a ticket for failure to yield at a stop sign.
Running a red light or driving through a stop sign puts everybody on the road at risk. This type of action puts the offending driver and other motorists directly into harm’s way. A study by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration analyzed causation and contributing factors in fatal crashes due to signal and stop sign violations. They used data from fatal crashes at traffic signals in 1999 and 2000. Of the 13,627 vehicles that were involved in fatal crashes at stop signs, 21 percent failed to obey the sign. Another 23 percent failed to yield the right-of-way.
After our recent report on The Dangers of Distracted Driving, it may not come as a surprise to readers that they found single vehicle crashes to have the highest rate of speeding and inattention. In addition, they also found that two-vehicle crashes had the second highest rate of driver inattention. Questions about this crash still remain unanswered. Other than the ticket that was issued, there hasn’t been any word on what caused Mr. Looney to drive through the stop sign. Was he distracted? Was alcohol a factor?