• September 19, 2022

Gladys Roath Dies in Overturn Accident on US-287 in Childress County, TX

Childress County, TX — September 18, 2022, 57-year-old Gladys Roath died and another person was injured in a single-vehicle accident on US-287 in Childress County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 12:15 p.m. on US-287, roughly eight miles outside Childress. Preliminary investigation suggests Roath was driving an SUV with an attached U-Haul trailer on the highway when the trailer started to fishtail. Roath lost control of the SUV and it and the trailer entered a side-skid; both then ran into the median and overturned. The SUV came to rest on its roof and the trailer, still attached, was on its side.

Roath was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger in the vehicle, Alan Roath, suffered serious injuries in the crash and was transported to an area hospital.

The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.

Gladys Roath Dies in Overturn Accident on US-287 in Childress County, TX

Commentary on Gladys Roath Accident in Childress County

I've learned over the years that many people tend to dismiss single-vehicle accidents like this one as tragic but also generally due to some mistake on the driver's part. Comment sections tend to fill up with guesses about speeding, losing control while looking at a phone, or otherwise committing an error that sends a vehicle off the road.

Driver mistakes are a possible explanation here, of course, but they can't be taken for granted as more facts are sought. Other potential factors, including whatever might have set the U-Haul trailer to fishtailing in the first place, must be considered and their signs looked for. If the trailer hit a wet patch of road and fishtailed due to low traction, I think most would agree it'd be unfair to blame the driver for what followed.

I'm not trying to argue with police or say I know something they don't. My chief concern as always is just making sure the whole truth is learned through thorough investigation. Unfortunately police don't always have the time, tools, or training to dig deep enough and look at possibilities beyond the obvious, so in many cases I encourage having independent experts take another look. Click below to learn more about some of the possible factors they would consider.

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