DPS Releases Names After Deadly Head On Crash Near Anton

Published 07/14 2014 09:35AM

Updated 07/14 2014 06:50PM

ANTON, TX –  The Texas DPS released the names and other details Monday afternoon - several hours after a deadly crash along Highway 84 near Anton.  Patricia Mendez, 62, of Anton, and her 8-year-old granddaughter lost their lives in the crash.  Jeffrey Howard, 51, of Wolfforth was airlifted to University Medical Center and at last check was in satisfactory condition. 

At the scene, Sergeant Bryan Witt with DPS said, “The preliminary investigation indicated we had one vehicle that was heading westbound on the wrong side of the highway in the eastbound traffic lane.”

The wrong-way driver was identified as Howard who was driving an SUV.  Mendez and her granddaughter were in a passenger car.  Initially we were told both vehicles caught fire, but it was only Howard’s vehicle that burned.

“Howard was pulled from the GMC before it became engulfed in flames,” DPS said in a written statement Monday afternoon.  

“There had been several 911 calls.  They called him in going down the wrong side of the roadway,” Witt said.  “We had a Shallowater PD officer dispatched immediately and tried to catch up with this subject.  But this subject was driving at a high rate of speed.  He was unable to catch the suspect before he went head-on with the other vehicle.”

Witt said there was no information yet on why the man was driving in wrong lanes.

Shortly after the crash, an eyewitness called into the newsroom and said, “It’s bad.  It’s really bad.”   

Another eyewitness posted a video to Facebook and said, “Lord, I hope there no fatalities.  If there is, rest in peace, people.”

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