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DPS: Monday fatality crash not accidental

By Sonny Long
April 30, 2013 at 5:02 p.m.
Updated April 29, 2013 at 11:30 p.m.


The car crash that killed a 20-year-old Cuero woman Monday was not accidental.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has turned the case of the death of Nikole Rhoades over to the DeWitt County Sheriff's Office after determining that the crash was not a traffic accident.

"Investigation, including talking to Nikole's family and friends, led in that direction," said Trooper Gerald Bryant, Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman.

DeWitt County Justice of the Peace Bill Robinson, who pronounced Rhoades dead at the scene Monday morning, had not yet changed his manner of death ruling from accidental as of Tuesday afternoon.

DeWitt County Sheriff's investigator Sgt. Carl Bowen said the investigation remains open, but evidence is pointing toward an intentional crash.

Investigation has revealed that Rhoades threatened suicide earlier that night, said Bowen.

Rhoades died when her 2008 Pontiac Grand Am left U.S. Highway 183 south of Cuero and struck a tree about 3:30 a.m. Monday.

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