A tragic early morning accident near Mathis claimed the life a man believed to be living in this area, and seriously injured his girlfriend.
Speed and alcohol are believed to be factors in the early morning accident on I-37, three miles south of Mathis. It happened just before 3 a.m. Wednesday morning, when a red car traveling southbound went out of control and flipped several times, ejecting and killing the driver.
The driver, identified as 24-year old Juan Carlos Ugalde, is from Lewisville, TX, just outside of Dallas, but was believed to be living in this area. His passenger, identified as 33-year old Eva McGee of San Antonio, was sent via HALO Flight to Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital, and is now listed in stable condition.
Department of Public Safety investigators said speed and alcohol are believed to be factors, but the tragedy did not end there.
"There were three crashes that occurred within 30 minutes or so," DPS Cpl. Charlie Ramirez said.
The second accident occurred when an 18-wheeler struck a fire truck that was blocking the southbound lanes of traffic while the accident was being investigated.
Shortly after that, Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Judge Daniel Garza arrived on the scene. A vehicle then struck a parked pickup truck and sent it flying toward him.
"He was pronouncing the individual dead and he was hit by a truck," Ramirez said.
Garza was thrown some distance into the median by the impact, and was taken to the hospital with what police thought may have been several broken bones. The good news is, there were no broken bones and Garza was allowed to return to his home, where he is recovering from some severe bruises.
So far, no citations have been issued in the accident involving the truck hitting the fire truck, and no citations will be issued in the accident involving Garza.
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