Joel Herrera Torres, Hector Rios Jr. Killed in Car Accident on Hwy 111 near Yoakum, TX
Yoakum, TX — November 22, 2022, 18-year-olds Joel Herrera Torres and Hector Javier Rios Jr. died in a crossover collision on Highway 111 near Yoakum.
Authorities say the incident happened around 4:30 a.m. along Highway 111 near County Road 438. Preliminary investigation suggests Herrera Torres and Rios were in an westbound Hyundai Elantra when they allegedly crossed over the center line for unknown reasons. After traveling some distance in the oncoming lane they collided head-on with a eastbound Dodge Ram pickup truck.
Herrera Torres and Rios were fatally injured in the crash. The Dodge driver was taken to an area hospital in stable condition.
The investigation is ongoing. No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Joel Herrera Torres, Hector Rios Jr. Accident near Yoakum
The news suggests the victims crossed left of center before the collision, but so far it doesn't look like investigators are sure why. Some people may have rushed to fill in the blanks with their own theories about that, but rather than jumping to any conclusions it's best--as always--to investigate carefully and find out if there's more to the story.
While folks may have been quick to blame driver mistakes like falling asleep or distraction from a phone, other possibilities out of the driver's control might also have sent it over the line. Wet roads, vehicle malfunctions, medical emergencies, even being cut off by another vehicle that left the scene--any of those could have sent the car off-course, and if the wreck wasn't the driver's fault then clearly he shouldn't be blamed for it.
I'm not trying to make excuses or say I know more than reports let on about what happened out there. I just know from long experience that things are often more complicated than they seem. That's why it's important to ensure that seasoned investigators with the right tools and training look into things: So that facts, not theories, tell the story.