FORRESTON - Multiple agencies responded Saturday evening to a double fatality, single-vehicle accident on Interstate 35E that also left four people injured.
All of the vehicle’s occupants were from San Antonio, according to Department of Public Safety reports, which indicate traffic was backed up for miles on the interstate. With no service road to divert traffic to, southbound lanes were shut down for about two hours as emergency responders worked the scene.
The DPS reports indicate a 1998 Ford Explorer was northbound on Interstate 35E when the left rear tire lost its tread at the 391-mile marker 1/10-mile north of Forreston, causing the driver to lose control.
“Witnesses said the vehicle started swerving. It went through the (center median) and went airborne onto the southbound side, flipping over several times before landing on its passenger side,” Justice of the Peace Jackie Miller Jr. said, noting an infant and two adults were ejected. “It ended up on the 391 exit going to Forreston southbound. It’s lucky it didn’t hit any other cars. It’s just amazing.”
The driver, Juan Carlos Martinez, 28, who was wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:12 p.m. by Miller.
A male passenger, Jose Manuel Comacho, 28, was transported by ground ambulance to Baylor Medical Center at Waxahachie, where he was pronounced dead by Justice of the Peace Bill Woody.
The infant and two female passengers were transported by air ambulance to Dallas hospitals.
At last report, the 10-month-old was listed in serious condition, with Ivette Sanchez Comacho, 22, in serious condition, and Betsoida Martinez, 32, in good condition.
A second male passenger, Joshua Lozano, 23, was transported by ground ambulance to Baylor Waxahachie, where he was treated and released.
“It was a horrific scene,” Miller said. “I’ve never worked an accident where there were three separate air ambulances called out.”
Fatal accident near Italy
ITALY - DPS troopers also are investigating a fatal accident that occurred at 4:48 a.m. Friday about 1.3 miles north of Italy on Interstate 35E.
Johnny Henry Tillery, 63, of Fayetteville, Ark., was the driver of a northbound 1989 GMC pickup towing a bumper-pull Jayco camper.
Investigating trooper Rick Smith said Tillery lost control of his vehicle, which spun around and struck the guardrail on a bridge just north of the 389-mile marker. The camper broke away from its frame and continued going northbound. The pickup, which was still connected to camper frame, straightened out but then ran into the camper, which had landed in the outside lane with part of it on the guardrail.
Tillery was transported to Baylor Medical Center at Waxahachie, where he was pronounced dead by Woody, who ordered the body taken to the Dallas County medical examiner’s office.
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