Corpus Christi woman killed in 3-vehicle wreck on US 77
By by Dianna Wray
Nov. 24, 2010 at 5:24 a.m.
A Corpus Christi woman was killed and two men were injured in a three-vehicle crash just before noon Wednesday.
The crash occurred on U.S. 77, about five miles south of Fleming Prairie Road.
A 2008 black Cadillac Escalade was traveling north on U.S. 77 when it collided with the rear of a 2007 silver Pontiac G6, said Chris Michna, of Corpus Christi, who saw the wreck.
Michna said the driver of the Escalade seemed to be swerving and not paying attention as he drove down the highway.
Traffic was piling up due to a car fire about a mile north of the wreck. The driver of a northbound car pulled over after developing problems with the car and it caught fire, Victoria Fire Department Battalion Chief Shannon Martin said. Martin said it was unclear what caused the fire.
Michna said it looked like the Escalade's driver, Michael Truitt, 52, of Houston, failed to notice the stopped and slowing vehicles.
The driver slammed on his brakes, but collided with the Pontiac sending both vehicles into the air.
"The cars flew through the air like toys," Michna said.
The driver of the Pontiac, Guadalupe Baugh, 66, was ejected through the sunroof. The car landed on top of her.
Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 Henry Welfel held an inquest and pronounced Baugh dead at the scene at 12:02 p.m.
Baugh's husband, Douglas Baugh, 51, and Truitt, were taken to DeTar Hospital Navarro.
Both were treated and released, Department of Public Safety Trooper Thomas Arriaga said.
All three were wearing seat belts, Arriaga said
The investigation is ongoing, Arriaga said, declining to give an account of the wreck.
Roy Curlee III, of Victoria, was the driver of a red tractor truck, the third vehicle involved in the wreck. The tractor truck was clipped by one of the vehicles. Curlee was uninjured, said DPS public information officer Gerald Bryant.
Traffic piled up for miles behind the wreck. Drivers on U.S. 77 were re-routed along Farm-to-Market Road 239 east and then through state Highway 35 east.
Officials also closed the northbound lane of U.S. 77, and converted the southbound lane into a two-way road until the wreckage was cleared.
Assisting at the scene were the Victoria County Sheriff's Office, Victoria Fire Department and Texas Department of Transportation.