Mother, son killed in FM20E accident

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By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

Heavy hearts dominate the Caldwell County Courthouse this week after an accident in the early hours of Friday morning left a deputy treasurer and her child dead.

Local telephones and social networking sites were ablaze on Friday morning as news spread throughout Lockhart and Caldwell County that Rachel Anzaldua, 45, an

d her young son Christopher, 9, were killed in a fatal crash on FM 20 East, near the intersection of County Road 166 just after midnight on Friday. The tragedy prompted Caldwell County to close the financial offices, where Anzaldua worked under Caldwell County Treasurer Lori Rangel-Pompa, to close on Friday to give Rangel-Pompa and the rest of the staff time to comprehend and cope with the loss.

According to Sgt. Darrell Jirrall, an area spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), which investigates all fatal accidents in Caldwell County, the crash occurred when the 1996 Ford Mustang in which the Anzalduas were driving eastward toward their home in Bastrop, left its lane of traffic and collided head-on with a 2002 Ford F-350 pulling a horse trailer.

Jirrall also said the Mustang caught fire after the impact, although it is unclear how the blaze was ignited. However, both Anzalduas were most likely killed instantly at impact. Both were pronounced dead at the scene by a Caldwell County Justice of the Peace.

The driver of the F-350, identified as Amber Sparks, 32, of Dale, was treated and released at the scene. The passenger in her vehicle, 12-year-old Brianna Barnes, also of Dale, transported to Dell Children’s Medical Center in stable condition. Jirrall said he understood the child would be held overnight for observation, and may have been released from the hospital over the weekend.

Sources said Anzaldua and her family were visiting with friends in Lockhart, and she and the child were following her husband, who was in a separate vehicle, home to Bastrop. Jirrall confirmed Anzaldua’s husband returned to the scene after the crash, and indicated they had been traveling separately, but he went back to look for her when she failed to arrive home when she was expected.

Emergency services had already been at the scene attending to those involved with the crash for some time before he arrived, Jirrall said.

Jirrall said on Tuesday it was unlikely that excessive speed was a factor in the crash, but declined to comment on any other potential contributing factors, pending the outcome of toxicology and other tests to be performed by a medical examiner. Those tests had not been released at press time.

Anzaldua will be remembered as a loving mother and a good friend. Since her death on Friday, several have posted comments about her “effervescent personality,” her friendly smile and her love for her family and friends.

A public memorial service for Rachel and Christopher Anzaldua will be held at the Caldwell County Courthouse, in the second floor courtroom, on Friday, July 30, 2010, at noon. A memorial service will be held at the Buffington Funeral Home, 424 St. Peter St., Gonzales, Texas, at 3 p.m.

The accident itself remains under investigation.

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