• January 13, 2021

Maria Hernandez Killed in Accident on TX-22 in Hill County, TX

Hill County, TX -- January 11, 2021, 43-year-old Maria Hernandez was killed in a two-vehicle accident on Highway 22 in Hill County.

According to authorities with Texas DPS, the incident happened around 6:00 a.m. on TX-22 near FM 3050, in between Whitney and Peoria. Investigators believe a Ford F-150 pickup was eastbound on the highway when the driver allegedly lost control after hitting a patch of ice. The pickup entered the westbound lane of the roadway and collided with a Ford Taurus.

Hernandez, a passenger in the Ford, was pronounced dead at the scene. Both drivers reportedly suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were take to Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest in Waco for treatment.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Maria Hernandez Fatal Accident in Hill County

It's sad to see a life ended due to factors beyond a driver's control. By that I don't just mean the ice on the road, though it's clearly a dominant factor in this particular crash. However, investigators have a bad habit of developing tunnel vision when adverse weather conditions are a known issue--suddenly every crash is caused by "ice" until it's a hundred degrees outside.

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Investigators owe it to the victims of these crashes to ensure they look into other possibilities that may have had a hand in things, as few wrecks can truly be said to be caused by a single factor. For all we know at this point, the pickup driver's wheels may have locked up when he hit the ice, or perhaps a mechanic failed to rotate his tires at a recent visit and that would have given him the traction to beat the skid. Many hidden factors can play major parts in wrecks like these, but in order to find them investigators must look beyond the obvious.

Some may read this and wonder why icy conditions "aren't enough." They may see another lawyer just looking around for anyone to blame, but it really boils down to my firm belief that no crash should be written off until all the possibilities are exhausted. Decades of litigation have taught me that accidents are rarely as simple as they first appear, and many folks have escaped justified punishment for crashes because a larger, more "obvious" explanation shielded them from being found out. There's no clear reason to suspect a hidden cause behind the crash in Hill County, but I would argue that Ms. Hernandez's family deserves to know that every effort was made to find out the whole truth of why they lost their loved one.

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