Meagan Lonion, Jared Dudley Injured in Wrong-Way Crash on I-10 in Vidor, TX
Vidor, TX -- January 13, 2022, 27-year-old Meagan Lonion was seriously injured in a wrong-way collision with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 10 East in Vidor.
Authorities say the incident happened around 3:15 a.m. on I-10 East near FM 1132. Preliminary investigation suggests Lonion was driving a Toyota Highlander SUV east on the highway when she crossed into the westbound lane for unknown reasons near the Doty exit ramp. Soon after entering oncoming traffic Lonion's vehicle collided with the second trailer of a Kenworth dual-trailer semi-truck. The force of the impact took the trailer's rear axle off.
Lonion suffered serious injuries in the collision and was transported to an area hospital. The truck driver, 32-year-old Jared Dudley, was evaluated for possible injuries.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Meagan Lonion Accident on I-10 in Vidor
To be clear, I don't know more than what reports say about the Vidor crash as investigators work to understand what happened. Nobody, myself included, should jump to conclusions or point fingers until more evidence is obtained telling the true story.
It may be tempting to point to intoxication or driver distraction, both of which are very common reasons for an early-morning wrong-way crash. Intoxication in particular would need close scrutiny in case a local business violated dram shop law by over-serving the wrong-way driver before her fateful drive. However, it's possible that something rarer like a sudden medical episode or even simple disorientation caused her to accidentally travel against traffic. Ambient conditions like poor lighting, hindered visibility, or insufficient signage could also have played a part, and it's important to account for those and other possibilities.
Again, I'm not suggesting I know for certain what happened here. I'm only suggesting it's important to conduct a careful and thorough investigation to figure that out. Police often content themselves with a "by the book" investigation that lets important details slip away, then charge whomever they can and move on to the next accident. They may conduct toxicological tests as part of the investigation, but even positive results rarely lead to further investigations.
Getting people the full story means making sure they know everything that investigators should look for. Whether that's the police or independent professionals with more specialized experience, ensuring victims and families get the answers they deserve should always be a priority. Are those steps being taken here?