Two killed in highway crash near Hallettsville

Two people were killed Wednesday in a highway crash east of Hallettsville.

Two Sheridan women were killed on Wednesday morning in a head-on collision on U.S. Highway 90 Alternate in Lavaca County.

Dedra Lynn Knott, 30, and Laura Edith Gunter, 30, were pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Mark Ivey about 1 p.m., said Sgt. Ruben San Miguel, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Knott was eastbound on the highway in a Chevrolet Trailblazer with Gunter, when her vehicle was struck head on by a freightliner tractor truck towing a semi trailer, he said.

Steffinie Ryan Blankenship, a 32-year-old Floresville woman, was westbound in the commercial vehicle but over corrected into the eastbound lane when her vehicle began to hydroplane, San Miguel said. Knott made an attempt to avoid the collision, but her SUV was hit head-on by the commercial vehicle in the eastbound shoulder of the highway.

Blankenship was transported to the Lavaca Medical Center with minor injures, San Miguel said.

Multiple agencies including the Lavaca County Sheriff’s Office and Lavaca County EMS responded to the crash about 11:20 a.m.

The investigation is ongoing by DPS. No citations have been issued as of Wednesday night, San Miguel said.

Weather conditions were wet and rainy with standing water on roadways throughout South Texas Wednesday morning.

Two people were also killed in a hydroplane crash about the same time on U.S. 81 in Bee County, San Miguel said.

To try to avoid hydroplaning, the trooper recommends making sure tires have enough tread to displace water, reducing speed and looking for standing water, especially when traveling over bridges and overpasses.

Kali Venable is an investigative and environmental reporter for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached or 361-580-6558.

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Investigative & Environmental Reporter

"I am a Houston native and 5th generation Texan, with a degree in journalism and minor in creative writing from the University of Texas at Austin. I care deeply about public interests and the community I serve.”

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