17-Year-Old Dead In Fatal Accident In San Benito

SAN BENITO – A 17-year-old died in an accident that occurred in San Benito, and another teen was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries. The location of the accident was Business 77 and Iowa Gardens Road; the road was shut down for investigation and cleaning after the accident.

The 2 teenagers who were riding in the motor vehicle were identified as seniors Vanessa Mendoza and Amanda Soto, told Lyford CISD.

When police officers arrived at the accident spot, they saw the semi truck parked on the side of the road and the other vehicle was found a few feet away from the intersection.

According to San Benito Police Chief Martin Morales, “The impact between the two vehicles caused the smaller vehicle to get thrown to the expressway”.

According to the San Benito police, Mendoza ran a stop sign while going north on PFC Garza Road and an 18-wheeler collided with her vehicle. She died at the accident spot due to the severe injuries she sustained.

The police believe that Mendoza was lost and confused at the intersection, about 50 miles away from her home.

18-year-old Soto was the passenger in the motor vehicle which Mendoza was driving and she sustained injuries for which she was taken to the Valley Baptist Medical Center. Her injuries were non-life threatening but her condition is unknown.

The driver of the 18-wheeler was not injured in the accident and he is cooperating with the authorities for investigation of the accident.

TxDOT has a review for deadly accidents that happen every month and the accident that happened on Friday will be part of that review. According to TxDOT officials, their engineers will focus on the weather and road conditions during the review. The review of this month will be released on 23rd of September.

According to the police, the accident occurred at about 5 a.m. and CHANNEL 5 NEWS said that the area was dark due to the reason that there is no street lighting at the location which makes driving difficult.

According to the city of San Benito, the intersection is the responsibility of TxDOT which gave the following statement, “We regret that this accident occurred. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims. Safety is a priority for TxDOT and we review events like this to determine if changes could be practically made to improve the safety of the traveling public. We will examine the site to see if any additional safety enhancements can be made. To answer your question about added illumination for this road, the installation of lighting depends greatly on a number of factors including low volume of traffic, the location and the unobstructed visibility”.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS went to the Lyford school district and according to the principal, they have mobilized counselors and counseling staff for counseling of the students and staff. All the extracurricular activities that were scheduled were cancelled in which the football game between Lyford and Raymondville was also included.

Raymondville High School’s Athletic Director Frank Cantu said, “We wanted to respect the community, and the decision got made to put the game aside and give respect to the families”. He added, “At the end of the day, this is bigger than a football game. The community is a family”.

A Raymondville football player and a friend of Mendoza, Daniel Garcia, was shocked to hear that she is gone. He said, “When I found out it was her, I was pretty down. She was my friend. She was really nice, she was very genuine”.

Stephen Boutros

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