Jesse Mueller, Rosa Rodriguez, Moises Rocha-Vanegas Killed in Rusk County, TX Wrong-Way Crash
Rusk County, TX — September 11, 2022, Moises Rocha-Vanegas, Rosa Rodriguez, Jesse Mueller, and a child died in a crash on Highway 259 in Rusk County.
Authorities say the incident happened shortly before 3:00 a.m. on Highway 259 North near Henderson. Preliminary investigation suggests that a Rocha-Vanegas was driving a Dodge Ram 1500 pickup north in the road's southbound lane, against traffic, when it collided with a southbound Chevy Silverado pickup. Both vehicles then spun away from the impact site before coming to rest.
Rocha-Vanegas (34) and his passenger Rodriguez (35) were fatally injured in the crash. Mueller (29) and a boy in his truck (8) also died from injuries sustained in the collision. Three other children (13, 11, 10) were seriously injured and were taken to area hospitals.
The investigation is ongoing. No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Rusk County Wrong-Way Accident on Hwy 259
Police don't seem 100% clear on how this crash occurred. Obviously it's concerning any time a driver travels the wrong direction on a highway, but there are many reasons that could happen. Among the more obvious would be something like driver distraction or intoxication, but at the same time less-common possibilities like vehicle malfunctions or unsafe road conditions must also be accounted for.
Unfortunately I've learned over the years that police investigators tend to overlook or dismiss potential factors that would be hard to investigate or would need more training and equipment than they brought with them. Moreover, even the factors they know to look into--like drunk driving--can be more complicated than they seem, as a DWI crash might mean a local business should also be held responsible for the damage done under dram shop law.
Because police don't always have the time, tools, or training to do a full and comprehensive investigation, it's often better for independent professionals to have another look and make sure everything is accounted for. Click below to learn more about the shortcomings of a "by the book" police investigation.