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Evidence, witnesses will explain Texas crash that killed 4

A deadly crash west of Dallas left no survivors. Victims of the Erath County car accident will not be able to tell authorities why a southbound car ended up in northbound traffic on Highway 281. The answer will have to come from witnesses and evidence from the fatal car accident scene.

The Texas Department of Public Safety and local investigators know that two Tarlton State University students and an Arkansas couple died instantly in the head-on collision. Authorities must learn what was going on in the teens’ Volkswagen to cause the vehicle to swing into the direct path of a Mercedes.

The Sunday afternoon crash was so violent that the students’ VW stood upright on the highway. The Volkswagen’s occupants were young women. The driver was an 18-year-old from Lipan. The passenger was a 19-year-old Forth Worth resident.

The married victims in the Mercedes were a 29-year-old man and his 26-year-old wife.

Police officials did not say whether witnesses saw the crash. An observer’s point of view would be invaluable to investigators since none of the victims lived to describe what happened.

Reports said the VW drifted across the center line, which could indicate that the teen driver was unaware of the car’s path. The driver could have turned suddenly if the road was blocked by an obstacle or another vehicle. Accident accounts did not say the vehicle movement was abrupt.

Investigators will search for evidence that the driver was distracted. A cellphone would contain time stamps for calls and text messages that might coincide with the time of the fatal crash. Other possibilities are mechanical failure or driver intoxication. A vehicle inspection and toxicology tests would rule out these causes.

Plaintiffs in wrongful death claims could include the teen passenger’s parents or the estate of the couple in the Mercedes, depending on who is determined to be at fault.

Source: dfw.cbslocal.com, "Keller ISD Alum Among 4 Killed In Crash" No Author Given, Apr. 29, 2013

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