Joannie Lopez, 22, was driving west on U.S. Highway 59 in her 2004 Chevrolet Yukon about 10 miles northeast of George West when her SUV left the road on the right, hit a grassy area and crashed head-on into a large oak tree, according to Department of Public Safety Cpl. Charlie Ramirez.
Ramirez said the family had been in Beeville to pick up a couple of kids and were headed back to George West.
Upon impact with the tree, the SUV caught fire.
In addition to Joannie Lopez, three children died at the scene: Christopher Elario Lopez, 1 year old; Alanzo Joel Lopez, 2 years old; and Andrew Joaquin Lopez Jr., 3 years old.
Andrew Joaquin Lopez, 24, the husband, survived the accident and was taken to a Beeville hospital before being transferred to Christus Spohn Memorial with a broken arm, leg and possible back injuries.
Ramirez said the husband did not remember the accident because he was asleep.
“He said all he remembers is ‘the next thing I knew, I was outside,’” Ramirez said.
Joannie Lopez was the only person wearing a seat belt. The speed limit on U.S. Highway 59 is 75 mph.
Ramirez said no attempt to brake was made. He added the cause of the accident probably was fatigue.
An account has been opened at IBC Bank to help with funeral expenses for Joannie Lopez and the children.