Kantrell Hires, 3 Teens Killed, Luis Rangel Injured in Midland, TX, Accident
Midland, TX -- January 14, 2017, Kantrell Hires and three teens were killed and Luis Rangel was injured after an accident where a pickup and a car crashed.
The Texas Department of Public Safety was called to the accident scene east of town along TX-158. According to state police officials, 25-year-old Rangel was driving eastbound on TX-158 in a Ford F-150. While road conditions were hazardous due to rain, Rangel's pickup lost control and swerved into westbound lanes.
This caused his pickup to cross paths with an oncoming Chevy Impala carrying 36-year-old Hires and three unidentified teenagers. The two vehicles crashed head-on.
As a result of the accident, Hires and all three teenagers were killed at the scene. Rangel sustained non-critical injuries and was taken to Midland Memorial Hospital.
Authorities did not report any citations or charges following the crash. Texas DPS says the accident is still under investigation.
Map of the Area
The recent storms have brought on plenty of accidents relating to poor road conditions, specifically hydroplaning. Whenever something like that occurs, a lot of people or going to see it as a simple accident that was completely unavoidable. The issue is that this isn't always the case. Whenever road conditions are bad, drivers have a responsibility to adjust their driving to compensate for the dangerous conditions. Whether or not this was done in any given accident depends on close examination of evidence from the crash.
Whenever an accident like this happens where poor weather conditions contributed to the crash, one thing that an experienced car accident attorney knows to look at is the Electronic Control Module, or ECM. This, among other things, will tell an investigator exactly how fast the vehicle was traveling at the time of the collision. Let's say a vehicle was traveling 75 MPH in dry conditions on the highway. Then, leading up to the hydroplaning, the vehicle was traveling at about 50 MPH. This would tell us that the driver probably slowed down to adjust for the poor weather conditions. If this is the case, then the driver has pretty good support in saying they did what they could to maintain control of their vehicle.
However, it could be that the vehicle was going at high speeds, maybe even well above the speed limit. If this is the case, the excuse that the accident was unavoidable goes out the window. Drivers have a responsibility to adjust their driving in relation to the conditions of the road. When roads are wet and stormy, drivers need to slow down, drive carefully, and be prepared for something like this to happen. If they neglect to do this, they are directly putting themselves and others in danger, and they need to be held accountable.
Whether or not this is the case in this accident remains to be seen. With a thorough independent investigation by an experienced professional, the necessary details can be examined, and the full story can come to light. Once that happens, those affected can determine the next best steps forward.
--Grossman Law Offices