FORNEY, TX (03/05/2016) — Thomas Rutledge, Gina Longshore, and Alfonso Flores all lost their lives in a head-on accident that happened in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) identified the three victims of a fatal head-on wreck that occurred along Highway 80 in Forney, Texas:
- 49-year-old Thomas Rutledge
- 43-year-old Gina Longshore, and
- 21-year-old Alfonso Flores.
According to the DPS, at around 1:30 a.m., Rutledge was traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes of Highway 80 in a Ford Edge when he struck a red, Mercury Sabre—driven by Flores—head-on.
After the initial impact, the Mercury caught fire.
Both Rutledge and Flores lost their lives at the scene. Gina Longshore, Rutledge’s passenger, was transported to Lake Pointe Medical Center in Forney in critical condition. However, due the severity of her injuries, she died a short time later.
Investigators are currently looking for possible factors to this fatal accident, but DPS Troopers are urging drivers to be extra vigilant, especially at night.
“And the main focus of that is cell phone usage,” Kyle Bradford with the Texas Department of Public Safety said. “However anything that takes your eyes off the road is a distraction, so the safest thing that we can advise the public would be to drive in the right side of the road, especially at this particular time of night.”
Kyle Bradford with the DPS mentioned that anything that takes your eyes away from the road is a distraction. While this certainly is one of the biggest causes of accidents in Texas, I think it’s important to address the issue of wrong way drivers as well.
A report by NBC5 showed that the number of wrong-way accidents in Texas is increasing. In fact, Texas leads the nation in wrong-way car crashes. Why is it that we are so reluctant to invest into preventative measures to stop drivers from entering highway off-ramps? One study even showed that low-cost measures, such as lowering the height of warning signs, could greatly reduce the number of drivers entering a highway from an off-ramp.