• December 09, 2022

Dorthy Thornton, James Branton Killed in Auto Accident on SH 19 near Canton, TX

Canton, TX — December 7, 2022, 91-year-old Dorthy Thornton and 44-year-old James Branton died in an auto accident on State Highway 19 in Van Zandt County.

Authorities say the incident happened Wednesday afternoon along Highway 19, roughly 2.5 miles north of Canton. Preliminary investigation suggests Thornton was driving north on the highway when she alleged started to pass several vehicles by crossing over the center line in a no-passing zone. As her vehicle traveled in the oncoming lane it collided head-on with another driven by Branton.

Both drivers were pronounced dead at the scene.

The investigation continues. No further information is available at this time.

Dorthy Thornton, James Branton Killed in Crash on SH 19 near Canton, TX

Commentary on Dorthy Thornton, James Branton Accident near Canton

Police seem to think an unsafe passing maneuver was the main cause of this wreck. I have no specific reason to argue with their findings, but I also know from long experience that officers at the scene don't always pick up on subtler or more unusual details. In many cases there has been more to the story than a simple driver error, yet it took more thorough investigation from independent experts to learn that. Could that be the case here as well?

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