• November 01, 2022

John Burleigh, Susan Ramstedt Killed in Car Accident on SH 35 in Aransas Pass, TX

Aransas Pass, TX — October 29, 2022, 68-year-old John Burleigh and 67-year-old Susan Ramstedt died in a traffic accident on State Highway 35 in Aransas Pass.

Authorities say the incident happened around 10:40 p.m. along Highway 35 at Oak Lane. Preliminary investigation suggests the pair were in a car on Oak Lane when they allegedly ran a stop sign at TX-35. As they passed through the highway their car was hit from the side by another vehicle. The impact caused their car to overturn into the median.

Burleigh and Ramstedt, both reportedly wearing seat belts, were pronounced dead at the scene. The occupants of the other vehicle were ejected during the crash and suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.

John Burleigh, Susan Ramstedt Killed in Aransas Pass, TX Car Accident

Commentary on John Burleigh, Susan Ramstedt Accident in Aransas Pass

Investigators seem to think the victims ran a stop sign just before the collision. I have no specific reason to doubt their version of events, but the years have also taught me time and again to take preliminary reports with a grain or two of salt. What if there's more to the story?

For instance, what if the vehicle didn't stop at the sign because it couldn't? Was it in good repair? Could it have been malfunctioning or defective? Did its brakes, steering, and safety features all work correctly? What were road conditions, weather, visibility, and sightlines like? Was signage present and clear at the intersection?

Those questions and others like them aren't about complicating things or making unfounded accusations. Unusual circumstances contribute to crashes all the time but get overlooked during a "by the book" investigation. That can be a big problem for victims and families in search of answers and help, which is why I often recommend having independent experts take another look. At the very least they can help ensure that the people who need and deserve the full story get as much of it as can be had.

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