• April 22, 2022

Devon Riddell Killed in Crossover Accident on US-54 near Dalhart, TX

Dalhart, TX -- April 21, 2022, 25-year-old Devon Riddell was killed in a head-on collision with a box van on U.S. Highway 54 near Dalhart.

Authorities say the incident happened around 4:45 a.m. along US-54 southwest of town. Preliminary investigation suggests Riddell was driving a Dodge Ram pickup southwest on the road as a GM box van was headed northeast in the same area. Reports indicate Riddell crossed left over the center line for unknown reasons; the box truck driver tried to swerve onto the shoulder to avoid the oncoming pickup but was unsuccessful. The vehicles crashed in the area of their passenger headlights. After the impact the Ram ran off the road and overturned in the bar ditch.

Riddell, reportedly not wearing a seat belt, was ejected and suffered fatal injuries. The van driver, 62-year-old Vasile Veverita, was taken to a Dalhart hospital where she was treated and released.

The crash remains under investigation. No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Devon Riddell Accident on US-54 near Dalhart

Over the years I've found that many folks tend to take preliminary reports like this one at face value without a second thought. I don't have any specific reason to think the news is wrong or that police misunderstood things, but decades of experience with truck crashes has taught me to take these early assessments with a grain or two of salt until clear and unmistakable evidence can tell the whole story. To be blunt, preliminary reports often overlook important details. Occasionally police even get things completely wrong.

Devon Riddell Killed in Crossover Accident on US-54 near Dalhart, TX

For example, I had a family come to me a while back about a crash where, according to police, their loved one veered over the center line and fatally crashed with an oncoming 18-wheeler. After we conducted our own forensic investigation, however, evidence clearly showed that it was the 18-wheeler that crossed over first. The victim swerved to avoid it, but the 18-wheeler then veered back into its original lane where the collision occurred. The investigating officer simply wasn't experienced and lacked the proper tools to do a thorough job. Had there not been more thorough investigations, the truth might never have come to light.

Again, I'm not saying that happened here. Further investigations could very well confirm everything police say here. My point is simply that after a serious wreck like the one near Dalhart, it's important to ensure that all the facts have been brought to light before anyone jumps to conclusions.


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