• August 31, 2022

Laina Wanttie Killed, Two Injured in Smith County, TX Ambulance Crash on Toll 49

UPDATE (September 1, 2022): Authorities have identified the woman who died in this accident as 51-year-old Laina Wanttie.

Smith County, TX — August 30, 2022, a woman died and two ambulance medics were injured in a crash on Toll 49 near Lindale in Smith County.

According to reports the incident happened Tuesday afternoon on Toll 49 near Farm to Market Road 16. Preliminary investigation suggests an ambulance was northbound on the highway responding to a call about a stranded vehicle.

As the ambulance headed north, a southbound Chevrolet Malibu reportedly lost control on the wet road surface and veered into the opposite lane where it crashed into a northbound ambulance.

The Chevy driver was pronounced dead at the scene. A second ambulance transported two injured medics to an area hospital.

No further information is currently available.

Laina Wanttie Killed, Two Injured in Smith County, TX Ambulance Crash on Toll 49

Commentary on Laina Wanttie Accident in Smith County

Before assuming that "speeding on wet roads" is all there is to say about this tragic accident, it's important to consider whether all the potential factors have really been accounted for. Knowing all the contributing factors of a crash is crucial, which means it's important to consider all the possibilities if only to rule them out. In Smith County that might include things like the car's actual speed, the condition of its tires (were they worn out or defective?), its driver's health history, and many other significant but often-overlooked details--not to complicate matters, but to be sure all the possible bases are well and truly covered.

Unfortunately law enforcement sometimes find an explanation they like and stick to it without much further investigation. They may be right that the car just hydroplaned, but I'm sure the victim's family would prefer if every potential factor was considered--to bring them the whole truth, but also to ensure their loved one wasn't unfairly blamed for a wreck beyond her control. That sometimes takes efforts above and beyond police attention.

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