Horrific head-on collision claims two lives
By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor
BCC staff Photo by Gail Joiner
Amidst an impressive array of colored lights, Bandera County and DPS emergency personnel combined forces to assist with controlling traffic and assisting the victims of the crash on Highway 173, Thursday evening.
Mario H. Moreno is blamed for the fatal collision.
During the last two weeks, a spate of vehicular accidents has occurred throughout Bandera County, but none more horrific than the one that happened the night of Thursday, May 8, on Highway 173 that claimed two lives.
According to law enforcement reports, at approximately 9:30 pm, a passenger in a vehicle driven by Rachel Brundage of Utopia called 9-1-1 emergency dispatch to report that a reckless driver was traveling south on Highway 173. The caller indicated that the driver had crossed the yellow line several times and nearly careened into ditches.
At the time of the emergency call, both vehicles were passing the Twin Lake area. The caller estimated a black GMC pickup was traveling approximately 70 miles per hour and said the driver had almost collided with several vehicles while heading toward Bandera.
After following the errant pickup for several miles, Brundage and her daughter, who had placed the emergency call, witnessed the fatal collision.
After purportedly crossing the centerline, the driver of the pickup, Mario H. Moreno, 50, of Bandera, collided head-on with a white 2002 Chevrolet Silverado that was traveling north on Highway 173. Moreno was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.
Erin Wilson, 19, and Cody Adams, 18, of Center Point, were in the Silverado. Bandera County EMS transported both teenagers to University Hospital where Adams died of his injuries in the early morning hours of Friday, May 9. Wilson is being treated for broken bones and is expected to recover.
Reportedly, Wilson and Adams had been returning to Center Point after watching Adams' sister compete in a ball game in Pipe Creek. Unfortunately, the rest of Adams' family were following the Silverado and also witnessed the fatal crash.
According to BCSO Chief Deputy Matt King, Paul Adams comforted his son at the crash site as the 18 year old remained trapped in the vehicle. "It was a horrible needless death," King said. "I can't even call it an accident. What a waste."
To add to the tragedy, Adams' father suffered a heart attack at University Hospital scene shortly after accompanying his grievously injured son to the emergency room. When he recovered sufficiently, Paul Adams was informed of his son's passing. As of press time, the elder Adams remained hospitalized, according to a report. There is no further word of his condition.
King said, Moreno had a long criminal history with local law enforcement agencies and 19 of the charges lodged against him were alcohol related, including two previous DWIs.