Sister of Retired Supreme Court Justice Among the DWI Victims
This weekend’s mayhem left a deadly path on our roads. In just these six collisions, drunk drivers drove the wrong way and crashed head-on into other vehicles. These people were so drunk that some actually entered the highway in the wrong direction or veered over the center lane.
- At 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, a car was travelling the wrong way on the Dallas North Tollway near I-635. A 20 year-old Lewisville woman crashed into two cars at Royal Lane, fled that scene, crashed into two more automobiles at Walnut Hill Lane, fled again, then hit another vehicle at Park Lane before police were finally able to stop her. In addition to arresting the wrong-way driver for DWI and fleeing the scene, police arrested one of the drivers she hit for DWI. Really?
- At 5:00 a.m. on Sunday, a 25 year-old man drove north on southbound I-35E. He collided head-on with an 18-wheeler and died.
- At 3:00 a.m. on Sunday, a driver travelling eastbound on U.S. 290 in Dripping Springs, TX crossed the center lane and hit a westbound car. Tragically, all five people in both cars were killed.
- At 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, a wrong-way crash tragically resulted in two deaths and three injuries. A police officer spotted a pickup truck headed south in the northbound lane of State Highway 6 in College Station. The pick-up truck driver rammed into an 18 wheeler and was ejected and killed. The patrol officer blocked the road to prevent further casualties, but a 33 year-old man rear-ended the officer’s patrol car. The driver’s truck overturned and he was killed.
- At 3 a.m. on Saturday, three Dallas Baptist University students tragically died when the driver lost control of the pickup truck and hit a utility pole.
- At 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, the sister of the former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was tragically killed in Tucson, Arizona when a 24 year-old man crossed the median and struck her car head-on at 80 mph. Like her sister, 77 year-old Ann Day had an impressive career — 10 years in the state senate and 12 as district representative.
There were hundreds of other DWI crashes across the U.S. These are just the ones reported in the Dallas Morning News today.
What Can Be Done to Prevent Head-On Collisions?
Texas can do more to prevent head on collisions. Rumble strips can wake a driver whose wheels have veered dangerously close to the center. Wider medians lined with safe absorbent materials can stop a vehicle before it enters the head-on lane of traffic.
Eye level signs, as I blogged about in an earlier post, are a good start, because they draw attention to the sign to alert a groggy or drunk driver. Installing bright flashing LED warning signs, as Houston has done, could also alert wrong way drivers to turn their vehicles around.
Of course, the most effective means of preventing wrong-way crashes is to end drunk driving. As has been proven time and time again, drunk drivers are the leading cause of these horrific head-on collisions that almost always end in death or serious injuries.
Reporting DWI deaths and burying drivers should not be routine. We must stop the madness.