• August 26, 2022

Waymon and Jaron Smith Killed, Kimberly Gary Injured in Crash on US-90 near Devers, TX

Devers, TX — August 25, 2022, 31-year-old Waymon Smith and 28-year-old Jaron Smith, died in a head-on crash on US-90 near Devers in Liberty County.

According to reports the incident happened around 12:20 p.m. on US-90, roughly a mile west of Devers. Preliminary investigation suggests Waymon Smith was driving a Dodge Avenger west on the highway when he attempted to pass a Nissan Murano by crossing into the eastbound lane. The Dodge then crashed head-on with an eastbound vehicle.

Waymon Smith and his brother Jaron Smith, neither of whom were wearing seat belts according to reports, died in the collision. The Murano driver, 52-year-old Kimberly Gary, suffered serious injuries and was life-flighted to a Houston hospital.

The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.

Waymon and Jaron Smith Killed, Kimberly Gary Injured in Crash on US-90 near Devers, TX

Commentary on Waymon and Jaron Smith, Kimberly Gary Accident near Devers

People may read the few facts available in preliminary reports and decide for themselves the driver made a mistake that triggered this tragic accident. That's possible, of course, and driver error must be carefully investigated. However, it can't be taken for granted as the sole possible explanation. Other potential factors should also be considered--not just about what caused the crash, but also about the proximate cause of the victims' injuries. The two aren't always the same, which often surprises people.

It's never prudent to start pointing fingers before all the potential factors of a crash have been properly evaluated. For instance, police think a faulty passing attempt caused the wreck but what if a product malfunction or defect was behind the victims' injuries? Did the Dodge's brakes or steering fail or lock up? Reports say the brothers were ejected; were they not buckled up, or could their seat belts have broken or malfunctioned? Police tend to assume someone was intentionally unrestrained if they don't find the belt fastened (they lectured in news reports about buckling up after the Devers wreck), but belts fail and break more often than people realize.

Frankly police investigators don't always have the time, tools, or training to look for factors beyond the most common, which means their reports can end up incomplete or even flat-out wrong. It's always best to have the facts straight, and sometimes that means getting independent investigators to have another look. Click the image below to learn more.

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