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One man dead in rollover near Wharton; second man injured after striking first wrecked vehicle

By JJ VELASQUEZ
Aug. 7, 2010 at 3:07 a.m.
Updated Aug. 8, 2010 at 3:08 a.m.

A child's doll lies at the wheel of one of the cars wrecked in two separate wrecks at the same place early Saturday morning on Farm-to-Market Road 1301 between Wharton and Boling. One man was killed as his Suburban rolled and ejected him. A second car then crashed into the Suburban. The driver of that car suffered head injuries.

WHARTON - One man died and five others were injured Saturday after the Suburban they were in rolled over on Farm-to-Market Road 1301 just north of County Road 107.

Another man sustained serious injuries after he crashed into the wrecked Suburban. The wreck happened after the Suburban's passengers had left the vehicle, but before officials arrived, said Tracy Kowalik, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety in Pierce.

The driver of the Suburban, Tony Gonzalez, 24, of Hungerford, was not wearing his seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle, Kowalik said.

Gonzalez was airlifted to Oak Bend Medical Center in Richmond, but died before they arrived, Kowalik said.

He was pronounced dead at 4:38 a.m., two hours after the wreck, by Fort Bend County Death Investigator Chad Dzierzanowski.

The man who crashed into the wrecked Suburban, Didio Vela, 30, of Sweeny, was listed in critical but stable condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.

Three men, one woman and one girl escaped the Suburban with cuts and bruises.

Gonzalez was driving south on the farm road when he drove off the left side of the road and into the grass. He swerved back onto the roadway, the vehicle rolled over and ejected Gonzalez, Kowalik said.

Officials are awaiting results from an autopsy to determine if alcohol was a factor in the roll-over wreck, Kowalik said.

In the second wreck, Valerie Shatto, Vela's sister, said, "He's alive, thank God, and had some pretty bad head injuries that we're going to have to get through."

The two wrecks are being investigated as two separate incidents.

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