• November 11, 2022

Brandy Addicks, Joshua Daggs, Phillipus Strydom, Teen Killed in Car Accident on FM 515 in Wood County, TX

Wood County, TX — November 10, 2022, Brandy Addicks, Joshua Daggs, Phillipus Strydom, and a teenager were killed in a crash on FM 515 near Quitman.

Authorities say the incident happened shortly before 6:00 p.m. on FM 515 at FM 2966. Preliminary investigation suggests a Chevy Cobalt was southbound on FM 2966 when the driver allegedly disregarded a stop sign. After entering the intersection with FM 515 it crashed into the side of a Cadillac STS.

The Cobalt's three occupants--Addicks (43), Daggs (33), and a 16-year-old girl--were pronounced dead at the scene. Cadillac driver Phillipus Strydom (64) was also pronounced dead, and passenger Jacomina Strydom (59) was taken to an area hospital with incapacitating injuries.

The investigation is ongoing. No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Car Accident on FM 515 in Wood County

Preliminary investigation mentions one driver "disregarded a stop sign," but over the years I've learned it's extremely important not to take officers' first impressions at the scene as gospel truth. Further careful investigation often reveals there's more to the story.

For instance, it stands out to me that the vehicle which supposedly ran a stop sign was a Chevy Cobalt. People may not remember as far back as 2014, but the Cobalt was a big part of a multinational recall from Chevy's parent company General Motors. Almost a million of their vehicles, most notably the Cobalt, were recalled because the ignition switch had a nasty habit of shutting off while the car was in motion. Something as simple as a heavy or jiggled keyring could trigger the shutoff, which left many motorists without anti-lock brakes, power steering, or powered safety features (like airbags and seat belts).

Brandy Addicks, Joshua Daggs, Phillipus Strydom, Teen Killed in Wood County, TX Car Accident

The defect took over a hundred lives and injured many other folks before the dots were connected by independent investigators. In the meantime, however, many drivers were blamed for recklessly speeding or running stop signs when their crashes were entirely out of their hands.

To be clear, just because one of the vehicle models in Wood County has a checkered history doesn't mean that specific vehicle shut down. I'm only saying that many wrecks aren't nearly as simple as they may first appear, and a lot of subtle or unusual circumstances may need a better-trained eye or more sophisticated equipment than police bring to the scene. It's important after an incident this devastating that the whole truth be found and the right parties, if any, be held accountable.

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