A tragic head-on collision claimed the lives of a father and daughter Thursday morning. The deadly crash occurred on Farm to Market 1954 in Clay County shortly after 7:00 a.m. Thomas Eugene Chesser, 39-years-old, of Wichita Falls and his three-year-old daughter Jenna Noel Chesser were travelling westbound in a blue Cavalier, when a white Blazer crossed the centerline and hit their vehicle head-on. Sadly, Thomas Eugene Chesser was pronounced dead on the scene. Even more tragically, his three-year-old daughter Jenna died shortly after being airlifted to United Regional Hospital. The driver of the Blazer, 18-year-old Ronald James Noack is currently being treated for injuries at United Regional. There is no word on the status of his condition.
Texas Department of Public Safety troopers remarked that collisions are uncommon on this stretch of roadway. Texas Department of Public Safety trooper Ward stated that in his ten years serving in this area, this is only the third collision he has responded to on this roadway. This begs the question of how this terrible collision occurred on such a relatively safe road. Why did Noack’s car cross over the centerline?
The cause of the collision is still under investigation. Unconfirmed initial reports indicate that Noack may have been texting while driving at the time of the collision. The indisputable dangers of distracted driving continue to claim the lives of Texoma citizens. This heartbreaking collision comes on the heels of a heated House committee hearing on the potential statewide ban on texting while driving. Young drivers are disproportionately represented where distracted driving is concerned. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that drivers under the age of 20 are more likely to use their cell phones when they are driving. In fact, the current law prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from using cell phone or texting while operating a motor vehicle.
Distracted driving and cell phone use are not always immediately apparent in a crash investigation. Although, there is no statewide ban on texting while driving for adults, a distracted driver can still be held liable for damages. Families who have lost loved ones due to distracted drivers should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. An experienced wrongful death attorney can stay abreast of official investigative developments. The team at the Altman Legal Group sends their deepest condolences to the family members and friends of the victims in this devastating crash.