• December 13, 2022

Eileen Perlmutter Killed in Auto Accident on SH 159 in La Grange, TX

La Grange, TX — November 7, 2022, 83-year-old Eileen Perlmutter died in a collision with a commercial truck on State Highway 159 in Fayette County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 8:40 a.m. along Highway 159 at the TX-71 Bypass. Preliminary investigation suggests Eileen Perlmutter was driving a Hyundai Elantra west on the SH 71 Bypass frontage road when she stopped at the SH 159 intersection. Nearby, a Volvo tractor-trailer was southbound on 159 approaching the intersection. A Dodge Ram pickup was also stopped on the eastbound side of the crossroads.

According to reports Perlmutter started to pass through the intersection but allegedly failed to yield to the southbound big rig. The truck hit the Hyundai on its front passenger side, after which the car spun southward and hit the stopped Dodge pickup. It continued to spin until it landed in the west bar ditch.

Perlmutter suffered critical injuries in the wreck and died a short time later. A passenger in the Hyundai was also seriously injured. No other injuries were reported.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Eileen Perlmutter Accident in La Grange

Reports suggest the victim was meant to yield to thru-traffic at the highway intersection. If that's accurate then it's important not to jump to any conclusions about why the victim might not have done so. There are still a lot questions that need answers: Did the Hyundai have mechanical problems or defects that kept it from fully stopping or staying that way? Was the victim in good health, or could she have had a medical emergency? Did anything block her view of cross-traffic? Was signage present and clear at the intersection? How were weather and road conditions? Could the truck driver have done anything differently to avoid the collision?

Eileen Perlmutter Killed in Auto Accident on SH 159 in La Grange, TX

I'm not trying to overcomplicate things or point fingers. Unusual factors are just sometimes overlooked, and crucial details that slip through the cracks can make big problems for victims and families in the aftermath of these serious crashes. For example, there was an incident in West Texas not long ago where someone allegedly ran a stop sign and fatally crashed with an 18-wheeler. Police said he was at fault, but we later learned that road crews actually removed the intersection's signs during construction. The victim didn't even know he had to stop, but until that critical detail was discovered he was unfairly blamed.

That was an unusual situation, but it's a good example of how many crashes aren't as simple as they seem. The victim deserves the benefit of the doubt while appropriate efforts are made to learn the full story. Will police be thorough enough to get it, or should someone else take another look?

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