According to information from DPS, a white Toyota Avalon was traveling in the westbound lane when it slowed down as the car was approaching a construction zone on Highway 239 just west of Choate near the intersection of Highway 239 and County Road 128.
An eighteen-wheeler traveling behind the car crashed into the rear of the car, killing the two women seated in the rear seat and seriously injuring the two men in the front of the car.
The crash caused the truck, driven by Dan Tucker, 59, of Runge, to flip onto its side, partially blocking part of the highway. Tucker was not seriously injured in the crash.
The flat-bed truck belonged to Tri-C Ventures, of Runge and was loaded with farm seed out for delivery.
The driver of the white Toyota Avalon, Gary Deskin, 65, of Karnes City, and the front seat passenger, John Ray Harris, 72, of Tuleta, were both airlifted by helicopter to University Hospital in San Antonio.
The two women in the rear seat of the car, Margaret Hensley, 59, of Karnes City and Carol Harris, 69, of Tuleta were pronounced dead at the scene by Karnes County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 Kathy Stewart.
A spokesperson for University Hospital said Monday that Gary Deskin was released April 27 and John Ray Harris remains in critical condition.
Karnes County Sheriff’s Office personnel responded to the scene as well as DPS, Karnes County EMS, Karnes City Fire Department and Rescue 1 who worked to extricate injured passengers from the car.
“TxDOT is deeply saddened by the loss of life and extends our sincerest sympathies to the families involved,” said Tom Tagliabue, Public Information Officer for the TxDOT Corpus Christi District. “Both incidents reinforce the message that we must all slow down, pay attention, eliminate distractions, and be patient as we drive through work zones across Texas.”
Police say the accident remains under investigation.