• January 17, 2023

Ronald Patterson Killed in Single-Vehicle Accident on Garth Rd in Harris County, TX

Harris County, TX — January 2, 2023, 55-year-old Ronald Patterson was killed in a single-vehicle accident on Garth Road in Harris County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 12:15 p.m. on the 9700 block of Garth near Ashbel Crossing Drive. Preliminary investigation suggests Patterson was driving a Chevy Silverado pickup north on Garth when he may have lost control for unconfirmed reasons. The pickup ran off the road to the right and hit a mailbox. It then continued off the road and into a ditch, where it crashed into a concrete culvert and came to rest.

Patterson suffered fatal injuries in the wreck.

No further information is currently available.

We learned about this incident from a Harris County release, in large part because the press didn't seem too interested in covering it themselves. One might think the sad and fatal nature of the wreck would be reason enough to pay it more attention, but this is far from the only crash that gets treated that way. Why? Well, I think I know the answer—and it's a sad reflection on how most people, even reporters, see a single-vehicle accident and quickly assume the driver was wholly to blame.

Is it possible that the accident on Garth Road involved some kind of driver mistake? Maybe, but assuming that—or suggesting it's the only factor—seems highly premature when so many other things could have been involved. Mechanical defects in the pickup, blown tires, being run off the road by another vehicle that left the scene, the possibility that the victim was over-served alcohol somewhere before he crashed, and numerous other factors need careful attention to ensure the whole story is learned.

At the end of the day a man lost his life, and I think most would agree his loved ones deserve to understand how and why that happened. I just hope authorities will take the time and care needed to get them satisfactory answers.

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