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DPS searches for clues to teen crash in Rio Vista

A single-vehicle crash tore a car into unrecognizable pieces and killed an 18-year-old Rio Vista girl. Three other Johnson County teenagers were hospitalized after the violent car accident with serious injuries.

The first witness to the 10:30 p.m. crash, other than those who survived it, was a woman who was returning home from work. What she saw she described as mistaken roadside trash.

The observer was convinced she was looking at the remains of a possible motorcycle accident. Then, she noticed the front end of a car on the far side of County Road 1106. A 2002 Volkswagen Passat containing four teenagers, including a 16-year-old driver, had apparently struck a tree, broke in half and littered the roadside with car parts.

An 18-year-old female passenger, who was a student at Rio Vista High School, was killed in the Wednesday evening, one-car collision.

The witness to the deadly accident’s aftermath spotted one of the teens who lived through the horrific accident flashing the light of a cell phone from the broken car. The disoriented and injured teen had called 911 for help but could not describe what happened or guide emergency crews to the scene.

The witness filed an accident report and allowed rescuers to track her phone to the dark crash site.

The 16-year-old Rio Vista teen behind the wheel survived. Her medical condition and that of a 19-year-old Waco male passenger were later listed as stable.

Another 19-year-old male passenger from Rio Vista was transported to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital. Fort Worth medical officials say the teen remained in critical condition the day after the accident.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has taken charge of the investigation. An accident reconstruction team is analyzing what may have happened to cause the fatal crash.

As state investigators determine whether speeding, poor judgment or some other event was responsible for the tragedy, friends, family and teachers who knew the victims gathered with candles and prayers at Rio Vista High School.

Source:, "Johnson County Mourning After Violent, Fatal Accident," Jason Allen, March 15, 2012

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