A head-on crash in a northwest Harris County neighborhood has left a mother dead and her 15-year-old daughter, as well as the other driver, in critical condition. The accident occurred last Sunday afternoon on the 16000 block of Ella Boulevard when one driver swerved into oncoming traffic in order to avoid another vehicle.
According to deputies, the driver of a white KIA Optima, Amanda Lockett, was headed northbound on Ella Boulevard at approximately 2:30 p.m. when a pickup truck came out of a subdivision nearby. Lockett, who was driving with her daughter in the passenger seat, lost control of the vehicle and swerved from center to left, colliding with a Chevrolet Equinox.
Lockett was pronounced dead on the scene, while her daughter and the driver of the other vehicle, Victoria Jones, 60, were transported to nearby hospitals with critical injuries. Police are seeking the identity of the driver of the pickup truck.
The tragedy of avoidable accidents
Traffic accidents due to distracted driving are on the rise in Texas, mirroring trends across the nation. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reported that distracted driving is the second highest cause of traffic crashes in the Lone Star State, resulting in 20% of all crash fatalities in 2020.
According to TxDOT Executive Director James Bass, such accidents are entirely preventable. As part of National Driving Awareness Month last April, TxDOT launched a social media and word-of-mouth campaign, #EndTheStreakTX, to encourage drivers to make safe choices when going out on the road. November 7, 2000 was the last day deathless day on Texas roadways.
Distracted driving and negligence
According to research, driver distraction can occur not just from holding a phone while talking. Even when a driver uses voice-to-text program or is using a device hands-free, the activity provides enough of a distraction from driving to potentially cause an accident. Although there are deterrents such as a $200 fine in Texas for reading, texting or sending a text while driving, the temptation to do so can outweigh the risks.
When an accident results from another driver’s distracted driving, they can be held liable for negligence. Texas follows a modified form of comparative negligence in which the injured party may receive an award based on the percentage of the damages that are attributable to the defendant’s negligent actions.
When seeking compensation for injuries after a car wreck, whether through insurance claims or a civil suit, time is of the essence. It is essential to have vigorous legal counsel to help you build your case to obtain the maximum compensation for your claim.