By Kathi Bliss
Some parents said students at Lockhart Junior High School were shaken on Tuesday morning when news spread that a classmate had been killed in a car accident.
Although staff and administration at Lockhart Junior High School declined to release information about the student, citing rules about the child’s identity and privacy laws, and calls to LISD superintendent Jose Parra were unreturned at press time, Martindale Police Chief Jeff Caldwell confirmed a minor and Lockhart-area resident was one of two killed in a three-car collision near the intersection of Highway 80 and Highway 142 on Monday evening.
Caldwell said the crash occurred when Ebony Reynolds, of Converse, Texas, who may have been under the influence of an intoxicating agent, struck another vehicle in traffic. Both vehicles were headed southbound on Highway, but the initial collision caused a 2002 Ford Mustang, driven by Ana Vasquez-Tovar, of Lockhart, to skid into oncoming traffic.
A truck in the northbound lane of Highway 142 swerved to avoid the crash, but wound up striking the car in the bar ditch, Caldwell said.
Runnels’ vehicle rolled and landed in the same bar ditch, around 100 yards from the scene of the fatal accident. He was arrested at the scene, Caldwell said, and charged with two counts of Intoxication Manslaughter and two counts of Intoxication Manslaughter and two counts of Intoxication Assault.
Caldwell said the driver of the truck that struck the victims’ car in oncoming traffic was not seriously injured, nor were the passengers in that vehicle. However, he voiced concern about the mental state of that driver, given the nature of the accident.
The accident was under investigation throughout most of the day on Tuesday, Caldwell said, causing road closures on both Highway 142 and Highway 80.
Both Vasquez-Tovar and a 12-year-old passenger in her vehicle were killed in the accident.