From the article:"....Immediate changes included adding flashing lights and a reduction in speed limit from 70 to 55 mph, according to Advocate archives...."
Around my location, folks frequently drive 10 or more miles over the speed limit. That little A never had a chance going thru that intersection.
So very, very sad.
What a shame. If you do a Google satellite image of the intersection it's easy to see how it could happen -- crossing from the far side of a four lane highway with a median. Easy to misjudge the approaching car from that distance, if the other car was even within view when they started pulling out.
That intersection seems to have a history of fatalities judging by the comments below the article and a quick Google search. Bad intersections like this seldom get fixed in a timely fashion because the people who have the authority to do the fixing are rarely personally liable.
No citation's were issued?? The fact the Model A had no seat belts makes it ok to kill people?? If the people in the fast moving car could not see a Model A in time,what chance would a kid on a bike have?? Bud.
It's truly a sad event but you can't issue a citation to someone that's passed away. US 87 has the right of way and the driver of the Model A failed to yield. I don't know the circumstances but that's an open and flat stretch of highway. Perhaps both were fumbling with cell phones. It would have been dark and the A has no side lights--Basically invisible to the traffic on US 87.
No matter what, just a shame for the loss of any life. May they rest in peace.
Sad situation. Death has a thousand doors in which to let out life.
At the risk of being run out of here....I am concerned about the mentality of late when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. And I did use the word "Accident". There are many nowadays who like to say "There are no such things as accidents. Someone was at fault." Families who have loved ones killed or injured are very quick to want to put the offender in jail or at the very least, sue him for everything he owns. And prosecutors are quick to oblige. My definition of "Accident" is something that is unintentional. To some, "Accident" implies it was out of anyone's control. An act of God, if you will. But you know what? What goes around, comes around. Few, if any, of us have never made a mistake while driving that could have maimed or killed someone under the right circumstances. Have you ever run a stop sign or a red light and thought "Oh my gosh. I'm glad nothing was coming. I could have been killed or killed somebody else."? Have you ever not been paying attention and have to slam on the brakes, only to stop with just inches to spare? We should be careful what we wish for when it comes to prosecuting people for automobile accidents. It could come home to roost. I say save the lawsuits and criminal prosecution for the collisions caused by people drinking or on drugs. THAT is not an accident.
I was involved in a similar accident in upstate NY. No where near as bad but I was on the "Highway" and a car crossing that road literally came out of no where and was in front of me. Both vehicles were drivable but only because I was on my toes. The driver crossing the road took responsibility and told the cops so but it was a non controlled intersection just like the A crash described. It's insane these things exist. Just a cheap way of getting around building over passes for cross traffic. It's a tragedy that it happened but from what's printed the A couple weren't watching. Don't know. perhaps they started across and stalled out.
Well said by Hal. A lot of assumptions would have to be made on our end to say the officer on scene was negligent in not issuing a citation.
Sometimes accidents are just accidents. Everyone has made poor calculations in their lives. The road situation doesn't help. It looks like if they had terminated the four-lane divided portion a few hundred feet before that cross road instead of a few hundred feet after, it would have been a lot easier to cross. Further up the highway you can't do that. Either the roads don't cross or you have to jog with the traffic. There are lots of crappy intersections like that on desolate Texas highways where areas that were once rural farm country are now a corridor for traffic.
This is a complicated issue.
First of all, there are too many people. Everyone feels that they have a God-given right to produce lots of children, who
all in turn, grow up to feel they have a God-given right to a car and a home and a place on the freeway ... oh yeah, and
the God-given right to produce a whole passel of kids of their own.
So, whaddya gonna do ? All this expanding population program worked fine when we were all just lost tribes in the desert,
but when one looks at urban sprawl, miles and miles of malls and McMansions, and we witness "accidents" such as this, it
becomes apparent that certain problems arise from a limited size planet and ever more people wanting to just go on doing
This leads to questioning why we do some things and not others, and who is going to pay for all these "great ideas".
Accidents DO happen, but as stated above, most "accidents" are not accidents at all, but essentially situations where someone
is being a little (or a LOT) reckless or makes a judgment mistake and a worst case scenario happens as bad factors all come
Again, whaddya gonna do ? We only have control over so much. Build "safer" roads and the idiots of the world just drive
faster. Put up fencing and some clown will see an opportunity to use it as a jump off point for hang gliding or something. We
have all seen the headlines !
Bottom line as I see it, we are never SAFE. Only the delusional believe this is possible. The best we can hope for is to be careful
and aware of our surroundings and hope to stay clear of the real boneheads that move amongst us.
Sad ? I suppose. But it is just life. Death and getting hurt are all part of life. Values such as "sad", "tragedy", and "fair" are just
human "assignments" that really have no meaning outside of our own self-centered existence.
Population has nothing to do with it. That area has a density of about 3 people per square mile. And it's certainly not the road's fault or Texas. It's a US Highway. You guys keep calling for safer roads is what drives the representatives into more restrictions on antique vehicles. The only way to make the roads safe is to remove antique vehicles from the roads along with drivers over age 50.
I guess i did not think my post/question's were about lawsuites or prosecution as i don't know what happned either.I do know old car people are dead and wonder when a texting,tailgating,mind in the cloud's hit's my Model A will we live?? I am concerned about the mentality of late where everyone is biligerant about everything?? Bud.
I am not trying to start a fight but most Model A doors will pop open in even a minor accident. Seatbelts should be installed and used. Just my .02
So you're blaming the other driver? I'm trying to get this straight in my own mind.
1. Model A driver runs a stop sign and gets T-boned by the other driver.
2. It was dark and the Model A has no side lights.
Blame the road or the other driver if you wish but I sure don't see it happening that way.
By Ken Kopsky, Lytle TX on Monday, December 01, 2014 - 04:50 pm:
The only way to make the roads safe is to remove antique vehicles from the roads along with drivers over age 50.
And under 50.
Well I was hired by NCDOT back in 92 and went to work in Mecklenburg county for a while. Somehow a guideline book used by the traffic engineers got left laying around 1 day.
Now I am stating fact here. What little time I was able to hold the book and look at it I found the page regarding intersections.
It was stated, 6 fatality's had to happen at a intersection to get a flashing signal. 12 for a traffic light.
I was dumb enough to ask the boss about that and the book disappeared and I was not treated very well for a while after they found out I read it. It was almost like it was taboo or something.But I know what I read and would swear to it.12 lives had to be lost before a dam- traffic light could go up.Or you had to get a politician involved to get money shifted from 1 project to that 1 and force it thru. which did not happen often but I do remember it did when someone hi up lost a daughter in a wreck.
Seat belts in that A with that type of wreck,broken necks would have been the result.
Where does it say they "ran the stop sign"??
RE: seat belts
Seat belts eliminate what is called the "secondary collision" of the passengers within the vehicle. They are really effective if there is "room to live" in the passenger compartment after the collision.
This can be done in two ways:
1) the vehicle is so heavy and well constructed that it doesn't get damaged when hit by another vehicle and the passenger compartment remains intact. Automobiles are not designed this way.
2) the vehicle is designed with crumple zones that absorb the impact and end up damaged leaving the passenger compartment relatively intact with room to live. This is how modern vehicles are designed.
Antique automobiles are not designed like modern vehicles. While seat belts may eliminate ejection from the vehicle, that doesn't do any good if the passenger compartment is crushed.
When you drive an antique car, you are taking a gamble. If you want protection, you are probably better off wearing motorcycle armor and a helmet rather than installing seat belts.
Mack - They probably didn't want you to know more than they did.
Why, pray tell, would someone want to put a traffic light in the middle of nowhere? Most towns in this area don't have a traffic light.
By the way, that intersection does have a traffic light. It flashes STOP.
As a note; The speed limit on that portion of US 87 is 55mph.
I was reading the comments section of the article and it actually doesn't sound like the Model A was at fault. Some of the commentors live in that area and they said the highway speed limit is 55 but you'll often see people doing 70-75 on it. What I'm guessing here is the Model A was appropriately stopped at the stop sign, looked and didn't see any traffic, and began its turn. It began pulling out when this truck doing 70 came into view. Going faster than it should have it got there sooner than it should, no time to stop, and killed the Model A occupants. If this is the case, then yes the driver of the pickup is at fault. They should have the police measure brake marks on the road and calculate speed at impact. That would tell for certain what happened. I see it all the time though. I'll be at a light, look both ways. No traffic. Pull out and nearly get slammed by a vehicle moving so fast over the speed limit that in the time it took me to look back they've come into view and gotten to where I am.
Ron - Look up the definition of STOP in your drivers handbook. It will most likely have terms like; "complete stop" and "proceed when safe". It's not either, it's both. "Running a stop sign" is simply slang for failure to stop as defined.
In Texas, the DPS is called in to investigate all traffic deaths on roads not within an incorporated boundary. So it's not over yet. I'm sure they took measurements of any skid marks.
As far as the comments, they make no sense about the facts of the location. One said there was no flashing lights or traffic control when clearly there is. They're just "sunny day horse riders".
I definitely feel for the family of the couple killed and the occupants. Maybe my eyes aren't good enough to see all the details of the picture Ken posted above. I do see the stop sign facing FM 447 and the flashing lights on US 87, although my eyes aren't good enough to see if they are flashing red, yellow, or green for US87. Since I have never seen a flashing green light on a highway with a full stop light, I can only assume it flashes yellow or red. Since the vehicle striking the Model A, a Dodge Charger, I read and saw a photo of (not a pickup) was traveling on US 87, I can only assume it had the right of way, unless they had a flashing red light.
I have a cousin that lives near Port Lavaca, south of Victoria, and he told me to bring the 27 Model T coupe which belonged to his and my Grandfather down sometime. I was going to take back roads, avoiding US highways, but this has got me rethinking the idea and trailering it down.
Hey Ken - those were your words, not mine and certainly not found anywhere in the article. There is nothing in the article that says anything about stops, who was at fault, etc. But there is an ENORMOUS amount of conjecture in your comments above and that, given the circumstances, seems highly inappropriate. Been driving Model As for 37 years - don't need any coaching on what the driver's handbook says regarding what "stop" means or how to safely operate a vintage vehicle on a modern road, thank you very much.
South of Spokanistan, Highway 195 meanders across the Palouse to visit sleepy old farm towns all across the rolling hills.
Not far out of town, the old highway to Cheney takes off to the west, and a mile or so beyond the builders of the beloved
McMansion are turning the hills above Hangman Creek into a wasteland of vinyl fences and cookie cutter McMansions.
A few years ago, a dumbass 16-year-old kid pulled out onto a similarly constructed Highway 195 in front of a heavy
pickup truck towing a backhoe on a heavy equipment trailer. The kid was smeared into oblivion and the truck and backhoe
guy got his rigs mashed up, but now gets to enjoy the memories of killing an idiot driver in whatever capacity he is geared
to deal with something like this.
Meanwhile, we got to witness where the dumbass kid got her sensibilities, as "mama" raised holy hell about this "dangerous"
intersection, never acknowledging that HER KID was ENTIRELY responsible for what happened that day. She devoted her
McMansion free time to petitioning anyone who would listen, taking it so far as the State agencies, until some boob there
pushed for the funding to tear the whole place up and put in an interchange to the tune of some 3.4 mil. In the process,
several accidents occurred, taking another four lives, before construction was completed. I drive through this area all the
time, and it is amazing how in the short time it has been open to traffic, how many big tire marks and slam marks have
appeared on the jersey walls ! People regularly move through there like bewildered morons.
All because one kid drove like and idiot and other idiots believed that they can save idiots from themselves by spending
lots of everyone else's money !
What can you expect, considering that 90 percent of Americans are idiots?
Burger, its all true. i have two "dangerous" intersections near me, one, a paved county hwy crossing a 4 lane, then out into farm country again. many crashes there, why? you can see 1/2 mile either way, but finally some highschool kid with a car load of friends pulled out in front of a dump truck and they all died. next the do-gooders all went crazy untill the state put a stop light there. now every time i have to stop because some one else forgot that driving requires paying attention. the other, really dumb, is again a county hwy crossing a 4 lane, then onto main street of a small town. so many crashes there they now put a concrete median across so you have to turn right, then within about 1/4 mile cross both lanes, and into a left turn lane, make a u turn, then cross two lanes again to turn right again into town. is that not more appt to cause a crash? crashes will never end, theres one happening now some where because some one was fooling with the radio, or texting, or just thinking, and not paying attention. think about it, every time you drive down a 2 lane road, you trust the other car is going to stay on his side. can you trust them all? ... here comes one... whew! made it, here comes another, good, made it again...here comes another....
Well, Chuck ..... this IS a problem, isn't it !
Clay, ... my time in AFG changed my whole outlook on life and death and by extension, all the frilly stuff we humans assign meaning
to (as opposed to life being an unpredictable mass of chaos). I left Seattle after my 10th crash in the same year, ... always the same story ....
stunt driver in some zoom-zoom mobile whipping through traffic and never considering that my work truck did not come with giant
disc brakes and BMW suspension (never mind the semis and bread trucks). Someone always late for a nail appointment or a meeting.
This was BEFORE we had celfones and texting !!!
Accepting humans as the flawed design they largely are, I know that no matter how safe we build ANYTHING, there will always be "those
people" who will push the envelope and bring a new level of danger to a situation deemed "safe" on paper by the save-the-world crew.
I was simply pointing out one side for the discussion. Conjecture, perhaps, but certainly no more than the others here that postulated about the speed of the other vehicle. The fact remains that the highway traffic had the right of way and that traffic control devices were present in that regard.
Inappropriate? Yes, I agree. Mr. Williamson should never have posted the article without expecting some discussion. The discussion might help save other lives though and prompt some to think more about safety. Don't think others can see you because you drive an antique car. Or any car for that matter.
Bottom line is everyone has the ability to move more carefully and thoughtfully through life.
We all get complacent (some more than others) or simply make mistakes that we might otherwise
avoid if we slow down and be more aware of our surroundings. That is a personal responsibility.
Some are more committed to it than others.
Erik had it right when he said that driving an antique car is taking a gamble. Whatever the circumstances were of this wreck with the Model A, any one of us can get in an accident. I was T-boned directly in the driver's door by a group of kids that ran a red light doing about 40 mph through the intersection. I was in a 2003 Impala with side airbags. I walked away with only some scratches and bruised ribs but the car was demolished. Had I been in a Model A, Model T, etc., I am sure that I would be pushing up daisies. People who drive antique cars are probably some of the safest on the roads but every other driver and the temperament of the antique car itself are always a risk.
There were no citations issued because the dead folks would never pay. The Model A was crossing the highway instead of yielding the right of way to the other driver. The old folks probably never saw what hit them.
I saw an idiot driver this morning. I was behind a school bus starting out from a stop light. A hopped up Chevy truck looked as if he was not going to stop at the stop sign at the next intersection and came within a foot or two of T-boning the school bus. When the bus had passed him, I thought he was going to pull out in front of me (Behind the bus). He had a stall converter and was revving the hell out of the engine and it caught and lurched forward. Scared me. He did think better of it and waited for me to pass before pulling out right on my @$$, revving the hell out of the engine. I resisted the urge to slam on the brakes and pulled over instead, to let him pass. The school bus had turned left. He continued straight until he got on the @$$ of the next vehicle which he promptly passed and I assume did the same to the next in line. I truly hoped there would be a State Trooper up the road. Then my thoughts really went down hill as I began hoping to see him upside down in the ditch. Figured it would serve him right and keep him from putting someone else upside down in the ditch. Sometimes I'm BAD. Sorry.
The Greater Houston Model A Restorer's Club is devastated. Two precious members were lost. Please keep all in your prayers.
Getting T Boned is not much different than getting hit head on by a drunk driver or being in a rollover. I've suffered the misfortune of being in all three. Luckily, I wasn't in a T in any of them.
Nothing BAD in what you are saying. How is this any different than some butthead firing a gun randomly in a public setting ?
It is wanton disregard for the life and wellbeing of innocents, plain and simple. The guy needs to be made dead before he kills
someone else. And trust me, removing one ***** from our midst is only going to create a tiny opening for someone else
to exist. Maybe that person will make better use of their gift of life ??? The world will always make more *****. No loss,
(Message edited by adminchris on December 08, 2014)
The names of the couple have been released. He was an 81 year old gentleman and his wife was 79. They were editors of the Houston Model A Restorers Club newsletter. I know they'll be missed. The police report said the Dodge Charger had the right of way and they pulled out in front of it.
I am by no stretch of the imagination a perfect driver, but I have avoided being Killed (or worse) several times. In the Navy I was operating a Motorcycle Safety course in my off time before MSF. I had a friend who was a corpsman and he always chided me that he wanted to be there for my big accident because I had been cheating fate for a long time...Sad that he was rear-ended by a dump truck,all I can say is make sure you pay attention to your guardian angle and keep your head on a swivel because no matter how good you are someone out there is having a bad day and they are distracted.
I wonder how fast the charger was going?? Bud.
Does it really matter at this point, Bud? There were three small children in Charger too so maybe not that fast. The speed limit was 55mph. So we can only hope the 30 year old driver wasn't speeding. Traffic on US 87 is visible for at least 10-12 seconds in each direction from the side roads (Over 1000 feet but closer to 1/2 mile). It was dark at that time but I see there was a street light and a well lit service station on the corner. Perhaps the change in lighting contributed to the Model A drivers confusion.
Nope,I guess it does not matter Ken! Will it matter when it is you in the Model A? Would it matter if it was a kid on a bike? Go for a 100 mile ride in a semi and see how most drivers react to slower traffic,see who is talking or texting,or just do not care about anyone else on the road!!!!!!!!!!!!!My only point in anything i have posted was/is to get people to think.Bud.
As far as speed mattering, yes, it matters to the health and welfare of all the occupants, but upon first reading Ken Kopsky's post, I didn't take it that way. I thought you, Bud, and he, Ken, were referring to the physical, material damage done. In that case an old car doesn't stand a chance when being T boned. It would not have mattered if the Charger was going 45 or 75. The damage to the car's would have probably been the same, and the human result of the collision, the same, also. Also, it is unknown (unless Ken knows) how far down US 87 from the lighted intersection that US 87 is lit up. If the only lights were right at the intersection, the time it takes for a vehicle going 45 or more to close on an intersection on an otherwise, unlit roadway, doesn't give a driver much time to react, plus the Charger was black in color. In all probability, the Charger driver didn't have time to react and the Model A driver and passenger, didn't have time for their lives to flash before them.
The Model A failed to yield the ROW to the highway-traveling Charger. Plain and simple, the Model A driver made a fatal mistake
and this all happened.
Too many people get lost in the emotion of this stuff, but it really boils down to simple facts. Some of us have an easier time
keeping the facts separated from the emotional parts to digest the situation.
Same kinda' thing happened to a former co-worker. An old man in a modern pulled right out in front of my buddy's Bronco II. The old man bought the farm, and the Bronco was totaled.
Old cars and old drivers are double jeopardy.
Speaking of emotional aspects of this tragedy, in addition to feeling bad for the family of husband and wife killed in the Model A, I also feel bad for those in the Charger, especially the driver. Even though the driver of the Charger may not be at fault, he or she will have to live the rest of his or her life knowing that he/she was behind the wheel of a car involved in an accident that took two lives.
Been on that end of the stick, and it just pisses me off. Someone in a hurry, taking chances, and I
got to be THAT guy. Not fun or funny.
Perhaps it is why I can separate the facts from the emotion .... forced to in order to deal with what
People used to say to me when I was deployed "Be careful !", along with a litany of comments about
how dangerous it must be. I felt then, and still feel that life is AS (or more) dangerous back home
than it was in AFG, because we KNEW there was an "enemy" and we trained and remained on high
alert for threats.
Back home, everyone is so utterly complacent and there are all sorts of dangers, from the distracted
driver to the random home invasion madness we read about in the papers. How many people are
honestly prepared and on alert as they go through their day ? Was the Charger driver anticipating the
Model A driver pulling out ? Did the Model A driver really rule out all safety concerns before pushing
I am blown away by how many people I see on the phone or texting while driving. It's as if we have
convinced ourselves that we live in some utopian "Disneyland" world where bad stuff only happens to
"other people" and we can do whatever we please and all will be sunshines filled meadows of frolicking
... and then something like this happens.
"The only problem with common sense is that it isn't all that common"....
A person I know did something similar last night. Distracted by radio knobs supposedly. I feel that is the new excuse for "I was texting". She hit a car on a 2 lane highway from behind at full speed. The car she hit was at a full stop waiting for traffic in order to turn left onto a country road. All went to the hospital. My cousin had the same thing happen while waiting to turn left on a similar road. He avoided getting rear ended by a guy going 70 by happening to check his rear view and making the split second decision to launch his own car into the ditch.
I am always avoiding accidents. The roads are totally nuts since the text was invented.
Names and photos on today's Houston Chronicle front page:
60-year love affair ends in an instant on Page A1 of Friday, December 05, 2014 issue of Houston Chronicle