A wreck on Peaster Highway during a stormy Friday evening resulted in the death of one woman and sent seven others, including two children, to the hospital.
An 80-year-old woman was killed in a three-vehicle collision about a mile north of Weatherford on Farm-to-Market Road 920 around 6:15 p.m. and a 10-year-old child transported to Cook Childrens hospital in Fort Worth in critical condition, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
A 2005 Ford F150 pickup driven southbound on Peaster Highway by Jose Tonche, 40, of Fort Worth, hydroplaned, and Tonche lost control of the vehicle on the wet road surface, according to Trooper Lanny Haschel. The pickup then veered into the northbound lane on curve and slid sideways in the roadway.
A northbound 2005 Chevrolet Suburban driven by Ricky Hearne, 59, of Weatherford, struck the F150 broadside, according to Haschel. A 2002 Nissan, driven by 33-year-old Crystal Flores, of Weatherford, traveling north behind the Suburban then struck the SUV.
A passenger in the Suburban, Virginia Hearne, of Henderson, was pronounced dead at the scene and her death ruled an accident as a result of blunt force injuries sustained in the motor vehicle wreck, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office. Ricky and Debra Hearne were transported to John Peter Smith hospital in Fort Worth in stable condition.
A 10-year-old passenger in the pickup was taken to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth in critical condition, while driver Jose Tonche and passengers Linda Martinez and Juan Tonche were transported to Harris Methodist hospital in Fort Worth in stable condition.
Nissan driver, Flores, was not seriously injured but her 10-year-old passenger was taken to Cook Children’s hospital, as well, in stable condition.
Everyone was wearing seatbelts, according to Haschel.
Jose Tonche has been charged with driving without a driver’s license and an open container violation, DPS reported. The crash was still under investigation Monday and additional charges were possible.
The stormy weather had about 15 Peaster volunteer firefighters, who responded to the fatal accident along with Weatherford Fire Department and LifeCare emergency personnel, stretched to the limit Friday evening.
Peaster VFD Battalion Chief Jason Low said firefighters had just finished up with a grass fire believed to have been started by lightning when they were called to the wreck.
They had to shut the highway down due to the number of cars involved, Low said. Firefighters reportedly extricated two people from the driver’s side of the pickup.
The department was also called out to a possible structure fire and two or three downed trees as the storm with high winds, lightning and rain moved through the area at the time, Low reported.