New Details Uncovered In Deadly Wreck - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/3/08

New Details Uncovered In Deadly Wreck

NewsChannel 11 uncovers new details from the tragic accident that took the life of a Lubbock-Cooper High School student.  A Lubbock County driver says the dump truck involved in Tuesday's deadly crash appeared to have problems before the accident.

Investigators with the Department of Public Safety say a final report on what caused the crash could be finished by Wednesday.  They suspect a problem with the dump truck's steering mechanism lead to Tuesday's crash that killed 18-year-old Kelsey Vines.

Kelsey and her twin sister Kayla were headed north on Indiana around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, when troopers say a dump truck from Armor Asphalt veered and hit their car. Investigators say Kelsey was driving. Authorities pronounced her dead at the scene. Doctors released Kayla from Covenant Medical Center Wednesday morning. She suffered minor injuries.

Now, we've discovered the dump truck may have had problems earlier Tuesday afternoon.  David Hernandez tells us that he was driving behind the same dump truck about three hours before the accident. Hernandez says the truck appeared to have a problem turning.

"I was behind that truck," Hernandez said.  Not only do his children attend Lubbock-Cooper Schools, Hernandez approached NewsChannel 11, because he had a story to tell.

"Between, I'd say, about 12:45 p.m. to about 1:00 p.m. I saw it turn onto 1585, and I was, of course, at the light. The light changed, and I just saw him swerve from side to side like there were difficulties with the truck before, steering problems," Hernandez said.  He tells us he didn't think much about the incident at the time.  "Reaching for something, didn't think of it as being something like this would happen later on during the day," Hernandez said. 

While the exact cause of Tuesday's accident remains under investigation, Hernandez agrees with investigators who suspect a malfunction played a role.  "A malfunction with the truck, I can believe it was," Hernandez said. 

Investigators have not officially ruled on a cause. The suspicion is a problem with the steering mechanism. So, NewsChannel 11 contacted Armor Asphalt Wednesday.  We wanted to know about the truck's history, including it's last safety inspection.

We were directed to the company's lawyer.  Attorney Dennis Burrows did not answer specific questions, but sent us this statement: This was a tragic accident, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the Vines family. The accident is currently under investigation.

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