BRENHAM, Texas—Jacqueline Smith, 58, and Dustin Hunter, 20, died on September 8, 2022, when their two vehicles collided in a head-on crash near the 1800 block of State Highway 105. The crash occurred around 7:00 a.m. just north of Blue Bell Road.
According to initial reports, Hunter was driving a tow truck owned by Arens Services of Brenham when the tow truck crossed over into the opposite lane of traffic. Smith was driving a car in the oncoming lane of traffic and was then struck by Hunter’s tow truck.
Hunter was pronounced dead at the scene. Smith was airlifted to a nearby hospital but later succumbed to her injuries.
The accident is still under investigation. No further information was made immediately available.
This crash may have been entirely prevented with better training and an emphasis on safety
Sadly, Smith happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time as Hunter crossed over the center line in a tow truck. Situations like this, where death could have been easily avoided, are especially heartbreaking because two families must now grieve a loved one due to a singular, life-changing moment. It is necessary that investigators carefully examine the details of this crash to determine fault so that the families may obtain the answers and justice they are entitled to under the law.
If Hunter was simply distracted leading up to the crash by a cell phone or something within the cab of the tow truck, then his negligence would certainly be the cause of this fatal accident and Ms. Smith’s family would be entitled to hold the driver and, and likely the employer, responsible.
Not only are tow truck companies required to hire in a manner that promotes safety, but they should also provide education and resources to drivers to encourage safe driving. If Arens Services of Brenham failed to determine whether Hunter was qualified to drive the tow truck before assigning that as a job duty, or if the company did not educate Hunter on safety protocol when operating the tow truck, then Arens Services may have to answer to Smith’s family. After all, tow truck companies should emphasize safety in everything their workers do, including driving.
Even though we do not know with certainty what caused Hunter’s tow truck to cross over the center line and strike Smith, we recommend an independent investigation into the matter be performed. Our firm provides investigatory services for victims and families of victims to ensure all wrongdoing is identified and the appropriate parties are held accountable.
Until then, we offer our condolences to both families during this difficult, life-changing time of grief.