Niguel Hayward Killed; Ashlie Dominqez, Eduardo Moreno Injured in New Waverly, TX Wrong-Way Crash
UPDATE (November 16, 2022): Sources have identified the fatally-injured victim of this accident as Chrysler driver Niguel Hayward (23). Hayward's passenger, Ashlie Dominquez (20), was transported to a Conroe hospital in stable condition. The Jeep driver, Eduardo Moreno (47), was taken to the same hospital.
New Waverly, TX — November 15, 2022, one person died and two were injured in a wrong-way collision on Interstate 45 near New Waverly.
Authorities say the incident happened around 2:00 a.m. on northbound I-45 between New Waverly and Huntsville. Preliminary information suggests a Jeep was traveling south in the travel lanes, the wrong direction, when it collided with a northbound Chrysler passenger car and caught fire. Other motorists and responders extricated both vehicles' occupants and firefighters put out the flaming Jeep.
The northbound car's driver was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger in that vehicle and the Jeep driver suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
The crash is still under investigation. No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Wrong-Way Accident on I-45 near New Waverly
It's not crystal clear exactly why someone was traveling the wrong direction down the interstate late at night, but I have a sneaking suspicion that some folks already have theories. For example, while I'm making no accusations myself comment sections in reports about wrecks like this one tend to fill with suggestions of impairment.
Alcohol certainly can't be ruled out; statistically the majority of wrong-way highway accidents are caused by impaired drivers, so the possibility (and its further implications) must at least be considered. However, just because it's plausible doesn't mean it can be taken for granted. There are other reasons a person might travel against traffic this way, like getting disoriented at night or signage and lane markings being inadequate.
All potential factors should be carefully evaluated and no conclusions reached before all the facts are in, yet even as I say that I wonder if police will take the time and care needed to find those facts. If there's any doubt or confusion left after they wrap up, perhaps an independent investigation would do a better job connecting the remaining dots.