• November 15, 2022

Daniel Vazquez Killed in Auto Accident near SH 130 in Mustang Ridge, TX

Mustang Ridge, TX — October 22, 2022, 25-year-old Daniel Vazquez was killed in a traffic accident by State Highway 130 in Travis County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 4:25 a.m. on the TX-130 frontage road at County Road 176. Preliminary investigation suggests Vazquez was driving a Chevy Cobalt east on CR 176 when he approached the frontage road intersection. Reports indicate he disregarded the sign and lights to stop at the crossing; on continuing forward the Chevy collided with a northbound Dodge Challenger. After the impact the Cobalt spun out and hit a nearby traffic light pole.

Vazquez was fatally injured in the crash. The Dodge driver was unhurt.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Daniel Vazquez Accident in Mustang Ridge

Police say the victim failed to stop, but over the years I've learned it's best 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 victim's vehicle was a Chevy Cobalt. People may not remember, but in 2014 the Cobalt and many other vehicles were part of a multinational recall from Chevy's parent company General Motors. Almost a million GM and Chevy vehicles were recalled because their ignition switches were capable of shutting off while the car was in motion. Something as simple as a heavy or jiggled keyring could trigger the defect, which left many motorists without any powered devices--including anti-lock brakes, power steering, or safety features like airbags and seat belts.

Daniel Vazquez Killed in Auto Accident near SH 130 in Mustang Ridge, TX

The defect took over a hundred lives and injured many other people before it was discovered by independent investigators and the recall was announced. 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 vehicles in Mustang Ridge has a checkered history doesn't mean that one in particular 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. For the sake of possibly clearing the victim's name AND finding a different responsible party, someone else may need to take another look at what happened.

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