• July 19, 2022

Jessica Blair, Aaliyah Lamanza Injured, Child Killed in US-90 Crash near Columbus, TX

Colorado County, TX — July 17, 2022, an 8-year-old died in a head-on collision on U.S. Highway 90 in Colorado County.

Reports say the incident happened around 2:00 p.m. on westbound US-90, roughly 5 miles west of Columbus. Preliminary investigation suggests 34-year-old Jessica Blair and her young son were traveling west on the highway in a Toyota RAV4. Ahead, 21-year-old Aaliyah Lamanza was headed east in a Buick Regal when she allegedly tried to pass another vehicle on a hill in a no-passing zone. While in the oncoming lane to pass the other vehicle, the Buick crashed head-on with the Toyota.

Blair and her son were transported from the scene to a Columbus hospital where the boy was pronounced dead a short time later. Lamanza was airlifted to a Houston hospital in critical condition.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Jessica Blair, Aaliyah Lamanza Accident near Columbus

It sounds from reports like an ill-advised passing maneuver may be largely to blame for the terrible damage done in this crash. Some may feel that's all they need to know before winding up to throw the book at the allegedly at-fault driver, but as always I would suggest a little patience and caution in case something besides the obvious was involved.

Some might scoff at that and say the story put out by the news is pretty straightforward; what else could there be to know? Well, for starters it's important to confirm that police interpreted the preliminary details right. What if the suspect wasn't trying to pass but instead just lost traction and veered into the oncoming lane? What if she had a sudden medical emergency that took her control away? Could her vehicle have malfunctioned or blown a tire?

Jessica Blair, Aaliyah Lamanza Injured, Child Killed in US-90 Crash near Columbus, TX

I don't ask those questions to try and excuse anyone's behavior or to say I know something police don't. The simplest explanation may yet prove to be the right one. It's just important to keep an open mind and ensure that the final story is based solely on facts and evidence. At the very least that ensures there's no dispute or confusion over what happened, but sometimes it also uncovers other details that need to be addressed--like other participants in the crash that should be held responsible. The first priority is to learn the truth of this tragedy; any further action would depend on what that truth turns out to be.

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