Weatherford Democrat

Local News

May 13, 2011

I-20 rollover kills woman, injures driver

PARKER COUNTY — A rollover wreck on Interstate 20 Wednesday afternoon injured a Lancaster woman passing through Parker County and took the life her mother.

Carol May Coterill, 79, was pronounced dead at the scene of the wreck that occurred during the rainstorm Wednesday, according to DPS spokesperson Gary Rozzell.

Loretta Cheek, 58, was transported to a Fort Worth hospital with a broken arm and head trauma, according to Rozzell.

A westbound 1997 Buick, driven by Cheek, reportedly left Interstate 20 on the south side, striking a guardrail and overturning numerous times, Rozzell said.

Both woman were secured by seatbelts, but Coterill was partially ejected.

The wreck occurred near the intersection of Farm-to-Market Road 113 south of Millsap, according to information from the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The wreck is still under investigation, but the rain may have been a factor, according to Rozzell.

Craig Coterill said his mother and sister were on their way to spend a week visiting his brother, who had just moved out west.

Coterill described his mother as a pioneering business woman in her younger days.

She began a job doing statistical tabulating for IBM and later founded one of the first Dallas-based temporary office help businesses.

“She made a very good success of that business,” Coterill said.

She later joined the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, or Freddie Mac, and excelled, moving up the ranks and then moving to Virginia to become a national manager of acquisitions for the company, her son said.

Sometime during the early 1980s, she was named the American Business Women’s Association Woman of the Year, according to her son.

She never smoked, never drank, never cussed, according to Coterill.

“She was always a lady,” he said.

After retiring and moving back to Texas, Carol Coterill immersed herself in her family, plants, church, senior center and spelling bees.  

“My mother loves her plants,” her son said. “She loves her children and her church.”

“We have one of the best looking yards in Lancaster,” Coterill said of his mother’s landscaping habits.

Though she never graduated college, he said his mother was very smart and well-learned.

When she became involved in senior adult spelling bees, she did well, placing first in regional and state bees and traveling out of state, according to Coterill.

His mother beat cancer and diabetes and scared her family with a stroke last fall.

But even then, she made an almost complete recovery, Coterill said.

When she was named senior of the month in January 2010 at the DeSoto Senior Activity Center, where she was very involved and volunteered as an instructor, she shared her words to live by: “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence.”

“The family is devastated,” Coterill said.

“My sister got a broken arm,” Coterill said. “Everybody else just gets a broken heart.”

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