• January 12, 2023

Santos Donez Jr. Killed, Officer Wesley Haulk Injured in Car Accident on Loop 289 in Lubbock, TX

UPDATE (January 13, 2023): Recent information identifies the drivers involved in the accident. They said that 36-year-old Santos Donez Jr. was driving the pickup which crashed into a police vehicle driven by Officer Wesley Haulk. Donez was fatally injured, according to available information. Officer Haulk had injuries initially described as serious. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Lubbock, TX -- January 12, 2023, one person was killed and an officer was injured due to a car accident on South Loop 289.

Authorities said that the crash happened in the area of South Loop 289 and Peoria Avenue at around 2:00 a.m. It appears that a Lubbock Police officer was on eastbound lanes of the freeway and stopped at a previous crash scene. Some time later, a vehicle slammed into the back of the officer's cruiser.

As a result, that driver sustained fatal injuries. The officer was said to have serious injuries and went to a local hospital. Additional details about the crash cannot be confirmed at this time.

Rear-end collisions like this can be a lot more complex than folks may realize given the possibility of things like faulty brakes, poor road conditions, defective tires, a lack of lighting or clear road markings, etc.

Santos Donez Jr. Killed, Officer Wesley Haulk Injured in Car Accident in Lubbock, TX

Some may be quick to assume something more serious happened here, such as drunk or distracted driving. To be quite frank, those are both common factors in early-morning crashes. I've been out to West Texas countless times after some bar or liquor store recklessly over-serves someone who then gets themselves or someone else killed. Officers out there putting their lives on the line know this probably better than anyone.

But they can no doubt also appreciate the importance of prudence and waiting for the facts. Like I said, a proper investigation will consider things like vehicle defects and medical emergencies, for example, as much as possibilities like drunk driving or fatigue. Jumping to conclusions isn't going to get an officer on their feet anytime sooner, and it certainly won't give a grieving family the answers they deserve.

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