• January 24, 2023

Howard Petrea Killed, 3 Injured in Car Accident near Mineola, TX

Mineola, TX -- January 20, 2023, Howard Petrea was killed due to an accident where two vehicles collided along the highway.

Authorities said that the incident happened at around 10:50 a.m. along US Highway 80 at the FM 1253 intersection.

Initial details in the news say that 89-year-old Howard Petrea was in a vehicle traveling through the intersection when a Ford Mustang crashed into it.

Due to the collision, Petrea sustained fatal injuries. Two people in the same vehicle as well as the driver of the Mustang were taken to hospitals in Tyler.

Howard Petrea Killed, 3 Injured in Car Accident near Mineola, TX

Smith County and state officials say failure to yield was a factor in the crash, but further details can't be confirmed right now.

My concern is that some people are quick to write off car wrecks like this and assume authorities have everything under control. I certainly have no reason to doubt whoever is in charge of this incident, but I've seen too many times where families came to me weeks or months after a serious crash with reports from police that left more questions than answers.

Sometimes it's due to something unusual making the investigations complex. Other times, it's just because a busy department doesn't prioritize accident reconstruction as highly as other responsibilities. Even the most skilled officers are only as good as the time and equipment they're given. That's how details can slip through the cracks even in crashes the public may see as "simple".

Especially for a family who have lost a loved one, that's a burden they shouldn't have to bear. They should at least be able to say for certain they're getting the whole story. As investigators take steps here, my hope is they understand this, as well, and get the victims and families involved here the answers they deserve.


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