• October 14, 2022

Crystal Goforth, Jon Corder Killed in Auto Accident on US-385 in Levelland, TX

UPDATE (November 1, 2022): It is our sad duty to report that officer Jon Corder succumbed to his injuries on Friday, October 28.

Levelland, TX — October 13, 2022, Animal Control Officer Crystal Goforth died and Officer Jon Corder was injured in a traffic accident on U.S. Highway 385 in Levelland.

Authorities say the incident happened Thursday morning along Highway 385 between Alaska and Brazil roads. Preliminary investigation suggests Goforth and Corder were in a Ford F-150 pickup headed north on the highway when they pulled onto the shoulder and stopped for unknown reasons.

As the Ford idled on the shoulder a Chevy Silverado approached in the northbound lanes, then drifted onto the shoulder and crashed into the back of the Ford pickup.

Goforth, 38, died at the scene. Corder was airlifted to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Crystal Goforth, Jon Corder Accident on US-385

It's too early to say exactly what happened out there on the highway, but I certainly hope police are hard at work figuring out the specifics. Obviously a careful and thorough investigation is in order--not just to make sense of this terrible incident for reports, but also to bring any and every answer available to the people affected by it.

Having said that, I admit to a measure of concern about exactly how much effort law enforcement will devote to the matter. Given the preliminary fact pattern, they may simply be content to blame the driver who ran off the road and hit the victims' pickup. That driver may just have made a simple but costly mistake, but it's still important to know for sure before fingers are pointed. What if the Chevy lost traction on a bad stretch of road, or its brakes or steering locked up, or it blew a tire? Would it still be fair to blame the driver if he left the road while fighting for control?

Crystal Goforth, Jon Corder Killed in Levelland, TX Auto Accident on US-385

I'm not trying to invent excuses for someone, but neither am I comfortable assigning fault until all the facts are in. If police already have their "bad guy" and don't want to look any further, maybe someone else should step in and make sure the rest of the dots get connected. The victims' loved ones deserve no less than the whole and true story; anything beyond that would depend on what is learned.

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