Three persons were injured in a two-vehicle collision about two miles north of the Del Rio city limits on U.S. Highway 277 this morning.
The accident occurred about 9 a.m. when a silver 2005 Chevrolet Cavalier, driven by 84-year-old William Ellis of Kerrville, Texas, slammed nearly head-on into a 1998 Chevrolet Malibu, driven by Dolores Ibarra of Del Rio, according to Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper II Louis Rios, who investigated the crash.
Ellis’ car was traveling south on U.S. 277 and the Chevrolet driven by Ibarra was traveling north on the highway, Rios said at the scene. The trooper said Ibarra and a passenger, her daughter Juanita, were on their way to Amarillo.
Rios said Linda Garza, a resident of Ozona on her way to see a dentist in Mexico, was also traveling south on U.S. 277 moments before the collision.
Rios said Garza saw Ellis’ vehicle in her rear-view mirror and observed the silver Chevy swerving on the highway.
Rios said Garza then pulled her vehicle off the highway to let Ellis pass.
The trooper said Ellis had apparently fallen asleep while driving, awoke and saw Garza’s vehicle pulled off the roadway and overcorrected.
Rios said the overcorrection sent Ellis’ vehicle into the northbound lane of the two-lane highway, where the silver Chevrolet struck Ibarra’s vehicle on the left front quarter panel, sending Ibarra’s car spinning onto the grassy shoulder on the east side of the highway.
Ellis’ vehicle continued to skid another 100 feet from the point of impact. The car then struck a stone embankment on the east side of the highway, flipping the Cavalier onto its left side.
Ellis and a passenger, Jane Rutherford, 79, also of Kerrville, were trapped in the Cavalier until Del Rio Fire Department firefighters and paramedics from the hospital’s ambulance crew were able to extract them.
Ellis, Rutherford and Garza were transported to the hospital.
Rios said he later cited Ellis for failure to control the speed of his vehicle.