By JESSIE HORTON
ERATH COUNTY (December 27, 2018) – As thick clouds soaked the ground Wednesday afternoon, local first responders worked yet another “totally preventable” wreck that took the lives of three people. Three people who didn’t have to die, except they did, and according to law enforcement, it was due to careless driving. Again.
On Wednesday, December 26, at approximately 2:44 p.m., the Texas Highway Patrol was notified of a two-vehicle crash on US 67 just east of State Highway 220 in Erath County. Erath County EMS, Erath County Volunteer Fire Rescue, Hico VFD, Hico EMS and Erath County Sheriff’s deputies were all already on scene.
Upon arrival the troopers found a 2001 Ford F-150 pickup driven by Gildardo Figuroa-Gutierrez, 57 of Burleson, was traveling east on US 67 and, according to the accident report, for an undetermined reason, skidded sideways into the westbound lane and was struck on the passenger side door by a 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer, driven by Nancy Kinney, 61 of San Angelo, who was traveling west on US 67.
The Ford then went through a fence on the north side of the roadway. The Chevrolet Trailblazer spun around and came to rest facing north on US 67. Both the driver of the Ford, Figuroa-Gutierrez, and his passenger, Adrian Aguiniga-Aguiniga, 50 years old from Fort Worth, died at the scene. According to the report, they were pronounced deceased by Erath County Justice of the Peace Shawnee Bass. The driver of the Chevrolet was transported to the Glen Rose Medical center where she later died.
“Another fatality on US 67 yesterday in Erath County, where 3 people died. Another wrong side of the roadway due to speed and a slick roadway due to the rain. And another innocent woman was hit,” said Staff Sgt. Dub Gillum with the Texas Highway Patrol following the identification of these drivers. “The frustrating part is that they are all 100% preventable. Just Drive. If you do not concentrate 100% on your driving skills and abilities, you are setting yourself up for a crash. Sadly though, these string of crashes took the lives of people just driving down the road and another vehicle suddenly drives on the wrong side of the roadway hitting them head-on.”
According to the accident report, the speed limit on US 67 was 70 miles per hour and it had been raining at the time of the crash, so the roadway was slick. The crash is still under investigation.