Police: High school student was one of two people killed in Donna crash
DONNA – A St. Joseph Academy student was killed and three schoolmates were injured in an August 28 crash on the expressway in Donna. Authorities say the crash was caused by a driver traveling in the wrong direction on the highway. The wrong-way driver was also killed in the collision.
According to a news release, the Donna Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) began receiving calls about 3:20 a.m. that a car was traveling against traffic on US Expressway 83 (I-2). But by the time officers arrived on scene, the vehicle, described as a grey Volkswagen, had already collided head-on with a white Toyota SUV near the Main Street overpass.
Four St. Joseph Academy students were traveling in the Toyota. One of them, 17-year-old Anuar Jobi, was pronounced dead at the scene. The other three students of the college preparatory school were transported to local hospitals for treatment, but their conditions were not immediately known. They have been identified as Jorge Emilio Garza Gonzalez, age 18, Juan Kattas, age 17, and Juan Vidaurri, age 17.
The driver accused of driving on the wrong side of the highway was also pronounced dead at the scene. He has been identified as Astulfo Cantu, Jr. of Palmview. His age was not provided.
It was not immediately known how Cantu ended up driving on the wrong side of the highway, but the investigation, which presumably will include a toxicology test, is ongoing.
Be vigilant for wrong-way drivers
Wrong-way collisions comprise only about 1% of motor vehicle fatalities—about 300-400 deaths a year. But when a wrong-way accident does occur, the outcome is usually quite severe, because it typically involves a head-on collision or a high-speed sideswipe.
With both vehicles moving toward each other, often at a high rate of speed, wrong-way collisions usually leave very little time to react. But there are some things to keep in mind to minimize your risk of having a head-on collision with a wrong-way driver.
Tips for avoiding a wrong-way driver
Always scan the roadway in the distance ahead of you. If you spot a wrong-way driver traveling toward you, move your vehicle to the right as quickly and safely as possible. Get onto the shoulder of the roadway, remain there until the wrong-way driver has passed you, and call 911 to alert authorities.
If you have to swerve quickly to avoid a collision, always steer to the right. Swerving to the left can place your vehicle in the oncoming traffic lanes, creating the potential for a head-on crash on the opposite side of the highway.
Most wrong-way crashes happen in the left lane. That’s why you should always drive in the right lane unless you are actively passing another vehicle or avoiding an obstruction in the road. Once you make your pass, return to the right lane.
Labor Day weekend
The J. Gonzalez Law Firm wishes everyone a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend. Drive carefully, do not drink and drive, and always be aware of other drivers and road conditions around you. If you need legal advice because you’ve been injured by a negligent driver, we will be available on the holiday weekend to take your call. Dial 1-800-CAR-CRASH, because someone is always available 24/7, and 365 days a year.