Multivehicle crash kills one, sends two to hospitals

Accident closes US 281 north of Stephenville for several hours Saturday



ERATH COUNTY (November 5, 2016) – Yet another young life is lost in a tragic crash on US Highway 281. Sergio Zelaya, 20 of Irving, was killed in a multivehicle crash that closed the highway for part of the morning.

Just after 7 a.m. Saturday morning first responders from Erath County were dispatched to a report of a two-vehicle accident. Texas DPS Trooper BJ Hill’s report indicates a 2003 Toyota Corolla driven by Sergio Zelaya was traveling south on US 281 and 2002 Chrysler 300 driven by Xavier Holbert, 22 of Alvarado, was headed north in the outside lane.

The report states Zelaya approached a righthand curve and lost control on the wet road, failing to control his speed. The Corolla slid sideways into the northbound lane and into the path of the Chrysler, which struck the vehicle broadside on the passenger side causing major damage. After impact, Zelaya was ejected and killed.

The Corolla came to rest in the ditch on the northbound side of 281 and the Chrysler stopped in the middle of 281 facing west following the collision. Several passers-by stopped to render aid while first responders were notified and enroute, leaving a Honda Civic and Kia Spectra in the outside lane of US 281 northbound to the south of the first accident.

Trooper Hill reported William Zachary Rozeboom, 26 of South Dakota, was driving a 2016 Peterbilt Truck pulling an empty cattle hauler headed south on US 281. According to the report, “it was dark and raining, making visibility difficult.” The Chrysler was unoccupied by this time, but still sitting disabled in the sound bound lane facing west with no lights illuminated due to damage.

Luis Diaz-Montano, 20 of Richardson, had left his vehicle and gone to the Corolla to render aid to the patients inside the vehicle when Rozeboom observed the vehicles on the side of the roadway. According to Hill’s report, Rozeboom “stated he slowed down and moved into the center of US 281 to give the parked vehicles more room. After moving to the center, the driver observed the Chrysler in his path and was unable to avoid a collision with the vehicle.”

The truck impacted the passenger side of the Chrysler. During the impact, the truck and trailer jackknifed and continued off the roadway to the east. The truck, pushing the Chrysler, then impacted the Corolla and Montano, taking everything and everyone with it until hitting a pipe fence on the other side of the east ditch.

In addition, during the impact, Hill reports the trailer hit the Civic, pushing it into the front of the Spectra.

The impact severely injured Montano who was taken via air ambulance to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth and killed Zelaya who was pronounced dead at the scene. Elmer Vasquez, 42 of Irving, was a passenger in the Corolla and was transported to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Stephenville via Erath County EMS.

Holbert, who was driving the Chrysler, was uninjured. Rozeboom was not injured in the collision and both the Civic and the Spectra were unoccupied at time of impact.


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