• October 17, 2022

Cristobal Vargas-Suarez Killed, One Injured in 3-Vehicle Crash on US-290 in Manor, TX

UPDATE (November 30, 2022): The person killed in this accident has been identified as 34-year-old Cristobal Vargas-Suarez.

Manor, TX — October 15, 2022, one person died in a collision involving an 18-wheeler on U.S. Highway 290 in Travis County.

Authorities say the incident happened shortly before 11:45 p.m. along the 15000 block of East US-290 near Voelker Lane. Preliminary investigation suggests an Audi Q5 SUV was eastbound on the highway, allegedly at high speeds. Ahead, a Toyota Corolla merged from the outside to the inside lane as it approached a disabled Peterbilt tractor-trailer on the shoulder.

The Audi driver reportedly merged left as well but failed to reduce speed and rear-ended the Toyota at an offset. After the impact the Audi veered right and crashed into the Peterbilt's trailer.

The Audi driver was pronounced dead at the scene. Its passenger was airlifted to an area hospital. No other injuries were reported.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Cristobal Vargas-Suarez Accident in Manor

After reading the narrative supplied by investigators I would imagine most people were ready to blame this accident on the driver described as "speeding and reckless." That's not to speak ill of the man who lost his life, only to acknowledge that reports seem to point a pretty clear finger.

I have no specific reason to doubt what police say happened, but I also know from long experience that it's best to take preliminary reports with a grain or two of salt. What if there's more to the story? What if, rather than being reckless, the victim was simply fighting for control of an unresponsive vehicle? A lot people have been blamed for wrecks actually caused by mechanical failures or defects in their vehicles; consider the GM ignition switch recall a few years ago as a clear example.

Cristobal Vargas-Suarez Killed in 3-Vehicle Crash on US-290 in Manor, TX

Am I saying things have to be more complicated than a driver making a bad mistake? Of course not. I'm only saying that it's best not to take anything for granted until a full investigation--one that carefully considers all the potential factors of the accident--is conducted. Did police cover all the bases before issuing their report, or is this like many other situations where another look would turn up vital details they missed?

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