By J. Noel Espinoza
Special to the NEWS
A female passenger died after the small vehicle she was riding on struck a semi-truck Thursday morning in the outskirts of Rio Hondo, local and state law enforcement official said.
Rio Hondo Police Chief William Bilokury said the accident occurred east of Rio Hondo and it’s being primarily investigated by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Bilokury said the fatal accident took place around 9 a.m.
“It wasn’t in Rio Hondo,” Bilokury said. “It was on Centerline and (FM) 106 which is outside the city limits of Rio Hondo. A semi-truck and a passenger car were involved.”
A press release issued by DPS states a green Kenworth tractor-trailer driven by a male driver was traveling westbound on FM 106 when the driver of the Chevrolet vehicle veered onto the westbound lane and collided with the semi-truck.
Maria Montalvo, a DPS public information officer, identified the victim as Teresa Arenas Vazquez, 75, a resident of San Benito and a passenger in the vehicle.
“(She) sustained major injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene,” states a report released by Montalvo. “(The) driver of the Kenworth did not sustain injuries.”
Montalvo said the driver of the Chevrolet was transported to Valley Baptist in Harlingen.
Although the accident is under the jurisdiction of DPS, Bilokury said the police and fire departments went to the scene to help to remove the body of the victim.
“The Department of Public Safety will manage the crash,” he said. “We already went out with the fire department and extricated the personnel and people from the vehicle.”
Bilokury said drivers should be careful at this intersection where there have been other fatal accidents in the past two years. He said he couldn’t recall the exact time when those fatal accidents had occurred tough.
“We’ve had other fatalities there… we had a couple,” he said.
Montalvo said DPS troopers will continue to further investigate the crash.