Anton woman, granddaughter killed in head-on collision - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Anton woman, granddaughter killed in head-on collision

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Patricia Mendez (Source: Nicole McWhirter) Patricia Mendez (Source: Nicole McWhirter)
Ava McWhirter (Source: Nicole McWhirter) Ava McWhirter (Source: Nicole McWhirter)
ANTON, TX (KCBD) - An Anton woman and her granddaughter were killed in a head-on collision a mile east of Anton on Highway 84 around 9 a.m. Monday morning.

62-year-old Patricia Mendez of Anton and her 8-year-old granddaughter, Ava McWhirter, were heading east on 84 in a 2004 Subaru station wagon. Officials say 51-year-old Jeffrey Howard of Wolfforth was driving on the wrong side of the divided roadway in a 2007 GMC SUV .

Howard ended up colliding head-on with Mendez's vehicle, killing her and her granddaughter. Officials say the SUV was traveling at a high rate of speed and caught fire after the collision.

DPS officials say several 911 calls were made Monday morning about an SUV traveling on the wrong side of the road. A Shallowater officer was in pursuit of the car but could not catch up.

Howard was pulled from the GMC before it became engulfed in flames and was airlifted to a Lubbock hospital with critical injuries. He is now in satisfactory condition.

Traffic was diverted for a few hours while emergency crews investigated the scene.

A memorial fund has been set up in honor of McWhirter and Mendez. If you would like to contribute, you can make donations under the McWhirter/Mendez Memorial Fund at any Lubbock Wells Fargo Bank location or at the Citizen State Bank of Anton.

The investigation is still in progress. We'll continue to update this story as we learn more.

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