Joey McClelland, Terry Williams Killed in Newton County, TX Head-On Accident
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 around three miles outside Burkeville. Preliminary investigation suggests McClelland was driving a Chevrolet pickup south on the highway when he crossed over the center line for unknown reasons. After entering oncoming traffic the Chevy crashed head-on with a Ford truck driven by Williams.
Williams was pronounced dead at the scene. McClelland was transported to a Jasper hospital where he was pronounced dead. A passenger in the Ford, 40-year-old David Tilley, was airlifted from the scene to an area hospital.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Joey McClelland, Terry Williams 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. Alcohol is 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.
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, someone lost their life here and another was sent to the hospital. That's more than enough reason to ensure that real answers are found through diligent attention to detail. 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?