• July 25, 2022

Joey McClelland, Terry Williams, David Antilley Jr. Killed in Newton County, TX Head-On Accident

UPDATE (August 23, 2022): It is our sad duty to report that David Antilley Jr. reportedly died of his injuries on August 9.

Newton County, TX — July 22, 2022, Joey McClelland and Terry Williams died in a head-on crash on State Highway 87 in Newton County.

According to reports the incident happened around 8:30 p.m. on Highway 87 near FM 1415, outside Burkeville. Preliminary investigation suggests McClelland, 33, was driving a southbound Chevrolet Silverado pickup on the highway when he crossed over the center line for unknown reasons. After entering the oncoming lane the Chevy crashed head-on with a Ford F-250 driven by David Antilley Jr, 40.

Williams, 58, a passenger in the Ford, was pronounced dead at the scene. Antilley was critically injured and was airlifted from the scene. McClelland was transported to a Jasper hospital where he was pronounced dead.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Joey McClelland, Terry Williams, David Antilley Accident in Newton County

After a head-on collision like this one most folks are ready to say that, while tragic, it's probably the crossover driver's fault. Usually that comes with suggestions that the driver made some kind of common mistake, like checking his phone while in motion or even driving while intoxicated.

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. Later reports even say investigators found open containers in the Chevy at the scene, giving some extra weight to arguments about impairment. That's particularly important to look into in case the crossover driver was illegally over-served by a local bar, since alcohol vendors may be liable for contributing to crashes under dram shop law.

Joey McClelland, Terry Williams, David Antilley Jr. Killed in Newton County, TX Head-On Accident

However, just because some possibilities are more 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, two people lost their lives here and another was sent to the hospital. That's more than enough reason to get real answers for everyone affected. Unfortunately, having done this a long time I can say that law enforcement doesn't always commit enough resources to get those answers. Would an independent investigation stand a better chance of uncovering the full story?

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