• July 25, 2022

Matthew Reneaux, Jennifer Felix, Marvin Jenkins Jr., Edmanuel Salamanca, Child Killed in Car Accident on TX-110 in Smith County

Smith County, TX — July 22, 2022, Matthew Reneaux, Jennifer Felix, Marvin Jenkins Jr., Edmanuel Salamanca, and a child were killed in a crash on Highway 110 in Smith County.

According to reports the incident happened around 5:20 a.m. in the area of Highway 110 and County Road 48. Preliminary investigation suggests Reneaux was driving a Dodge Charger north on the highway as Salamanca was driving a Chevrolet Tahoe south in the same area. Somehow the vehicles collided head-on in the road and the Charger then caught fire.

The Charger's occupants (Reneaux, 23; Felix, 26; Jenkins, 38) and the Tahoe's occupants (Salamanca, 39, and an unknown juvenile) were all pronounced dead at the scene. 

The investigation continues. No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Matthew Reneaux, Jennifer Felix, Marvin Jenkins Jr., Edmanuel Salamanca Accident in Smith County

I've noticed over the years that many folks tend to write off head-on collisions, assuming that one driver of the other made a mistake and crossed over the center line. That mistake could be different things--texting, speeding, drunk driving--but the gist is always that the driver is solely to blame.

It's true that operator error is often behind wrong-way or crossover crashes, and the possibilities I mentioned will probably be considered by police while they're connecting the dots. Alcohol is a particularly troubling possibility; not only is drunk driving a hazard all over Texas every day, but it would also be important to look into in case the crossover driver was illegally over-served by a local bar. That could mean the bar is liable for the part it played under dram shop law.

Matthew Reneaux, Jennifer Felix, Marvin Jenkins Jr., Edmanuel Salamanca, Maxcymino Oviedo Killed in Car Accident on TX-110 in Smith County

However, just because some explanations are possible or common doesn't mean they can be taken for granted. A prudent investigator will consider all the potential explanations. What about mechanical defects? Road hazards? Medical emergencies? Other drivers that left the scene? Poor lighting or missing signage?

As relatively uncommon as some of those may be, five people lost their lives here and that's more than enough reason to devote careful attention to finding the facts. Unfortunately, experience tells me that law enforcement doesn't always commit enough resources to get those badly-needed answers. Would an independent investigation stand a better chance of uncovering the full story?

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