Martha Suarez Killed, Jennifer Stovall Injured in Crash on SH 326 in Hardin County, TX
Hardin County, TX — October 18, 2022, Martha Suarez died and Jennifer Stovall was injured in a crossover accident on State Highway 326 in Hardin County.
Authorities say the incident happened shortly before 3:00 p.m. on TX-326, north of Sour Lake. Preliminary investigation suggests Suarez was driving a Buick SUV south on the highway as Stovall drove north nearby in a Dodge Ram. Stovall reportedly traveled left of center for unknown reasons and the Dodge crashed head-on with the Buick in the southbound lane.
Suarez was pronounced dead at the scene. The Dodge driver, 45-year-old Jennifer Stovall, was transported to a Beaumont hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries.
The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Martha Suarez, Jennifer Stovall Accident in Hardin County
Police say one person crossed left of center here, but so far they're light on insights about how and why that might have happened. In the absence of clear facts they find during careful investigation, I would strongly suggest not trying to fill in the blanks with guesses about common factors like driver distraction or speeding. Those will likely be considered as investigators try to connect the dots, but they certainly can't be taken for granted.
For all anyone knows the Dodge could have swerved left after hitting a bad patch of road and losing traction. It could also have had some kind of mechanical failure or defect that ran it off-course, or the driver might have had to quickly react to being cut off. A crash caused by her making a poor choice could look exactly the same as one that was completely out of her hands, which is why it's so important to find all the important details and let nothing slip through the cracks.
Unfortunately I've learned over the years that law enforcement has a pretty well-worn "playbook" for their investigations and asking or expecting them to leave no stone unturned may be too much. To eliminate any doubt or confusion about what happened, it's often better to let independent investigators with the right tools and training have another look. At the very least everyone affected by the incident deserves to know they have its true explanation.