According to a contract truck driver for Wal-Mart who witnessed the accident, a woman speeding up to the T-shaped intersection of U.S. Highway 181 and State Highway 359 never slowed down as she raced east on the state highway at a high rate of speed.
“She had to be doing at least 70,” he said of the driver of a Toyota Camry. “The sign back there clearly says 55 mph,” Thomas Corbett of Killeen said.
Corbett said the woman barreled between three vehicles on 359, two of which were facing east and one of which had just turned from the south, off 181, westbound on 359.
“If he’d turned just one second later, he’d have been killed,” Corbett said.
The driver of the eastbound Ford sedan was a police officer with the Sinton Police Department. Nearby, his police chief and another officer were on the scene.
The witness said he watched as the Camry did a “thread the needle” maneuver between a Dodge Neon, the Ford sedan and a Toyota pickup truck.
The Camry hit the Dodge first, knocking it into the pickup in front and then scraped along the driver’s side of the Ford before racing across 181 and coming to rest in the grass just west of the highway.
Emergency medical service personnel from Angel Care Ambulance Service in Beeville raced to the scene in several ambulances.
Members of the Beeville Volunteer Fire Department and firemen from Skidmore also responded to the emergency call.
Bee County sheriff’s deputies directed traffic around the collision as Texas Highway Patrol troopers converged on the scene to conduct an investigation.
The names, medical conditions and number of people who were taken to area hospitals were unavailable.
However, the woman driving the Camry had to be freed from her vehicle by Beeville firemen using the Jaws of Life.
She was rushed to a HALO-Flight helicopter and flown to a Corpus Christi hospital.
The driver of the Dodge and a young boy in the vehicle with her, described as being about five years old, were both treated at the scene.
A man driving the Toyota pickup apparently was uninjured and was walking around the wreck site.
He and the truck driver were interviewed at the scene by Highway Patrol troopers.
Witnesses said at least two and possibly three of the victims were taken to Christus Spohn Hospital Beeville for treatment.
The accident report had not been completed by the investigating trooper.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.