GRAY COUNTY, Texas — Three children, ages 12-13, were killed Oct. 18 during a rollover crash in the small community of White Deer.
The Texas Department of Public Safety identified the deceased as Kooper Preston of White Deer, Aydan Mooney of White Deer, and Luis Nevarez of nearby Pampa, according to a local news report. A 13-year-old Pampa boy was injured and remains hospitalized in critical condition at Pampa Regional Medical Center.
The victims were northbound on County Road 1 in a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 at about 2:15 a.m. when the vehicle approached an “S” curve at a fast speed and slid into a grassy area between County Road 1 and County Road L before rolling over, according to a preliminary investigation.
The vehicle rolled multiple times before coming to rest in a pasture north of County Road L, DPS investigators said. The three children who were killed were ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene.
DPS told local news outlets that the driver of the pickup truck has yet to be determined, and the accident remains under investigation.
COMMENTARY ON ROLLOVER ACCIDENTS
I am deeply disturbed to learn of this unbelievably tragic accident. As a parent, I cannot fathom the anguish the parents of these three young teenagers must feel as they mourn the loss of their children's' lives before they even really had the chance to begin.
I can imagine any parent would be asking him or herself, “Why did this happen?” “How could this have happened?” “What could I have done to prevent it?” These are just a few of the hundreds of questions these grief-stricken parents will ask themselves over and over again, perhaps for the rest of their lives.
Excessive speed appears to be a contributory factor in this accident. Perhaps fatigue was also a factor, considering it took place in the wee hours of a Monday morning on a school day. However, vehicle rollovers do not always end in tragedy.
Vehicles engineered and built according to proven standards provide added protection for occupants in case of rollovers. Nevertheless, vehicle rollover accidents continue to increase despite improved engineering and safety guidelines, especially in light trucks and SUVs. Some vehicle manufacturers have been known to cut corners to increase profits at the expense of human suffering and loss of life. It is not possible from the accident report to determine to what degree any of these factors played a roll in this accident. A thorough investigation will need to be conducted to make that assessment.
To discover more about how engineering and safety standards affect vehicle rollovers, read my article The Making of an Epidemic. As a responsible citizen and concerned parent, I will continue my best efforts to increase public awareness about the dangers of poor vehicle design and to influence automakers to implement improved engineering and safety features in their vehicles.
My heartfelt condolences go out to the families of the victims of this catastrophic event.
Disclaimer: At Ammons Law, we are constantly seeking to improve the quality and safety of our roads and highways. We post these articles to help improve safety within our community. All of the information contained within this post was compiled from public sources or constitutes the opinion of the author. Please inform us immediately if you identify any false or misleading information.