Recent fatal accidents on area highway causing concern

By: Victoria Maranan Email
By: Victoria Maranan Email

ANNA, TX -- A woman was killed and another driver injured in a three-vehicle accident in Anna Thursday. Investigators say that's the third fatal accident on the same stretch of State Highway 121 in the past two months.

Carol Matuszak has lived right by State Highway 121 in Anna for 15 years. She says just getting in or out of her driveway is too often a near-death experience. With two fatal accidents just yards away from her home within two weeks, she says something needs to be done.

"We heard a big loud bang, but we didn't realize what it was until we saw all the traffic stopping. Then later on my husband heard that there's another fatality down the road again."

Carol Matuszak stepped out of her front porch Thursday afternoon and saw three vehicles had crashed on State highway 121. Anna police say two SUV's and a box truck collided on State Highway 121, just south of FM 455.

Sgt. Jeff Caponera says a woman in a Dodge Durango was killed, and her 10-year-daughter taken to a Plano hospital with minor injuries.
Another driver, a Fannin county man, was flown to Medical Center of Plano in critical condition.

"Preliminary investigation is showing that the Dodge Durango was northbound in a southbound lane. That's all we can tell right now. We don't know why." Caponera said.

Caponera says three fatal accidents have happened on this stretch of 121 within just weeks of each other, including a May 28th crash that killed a Westminster woman and sent a Plano firefighter to the hospital in critical condition.

"This is one of those roadways, as i've stated that this has been third, we just finished mapping a fatal that we've had last Tuesday. This is the third one we've had in less than two months now." Caponera said.

Matuszak says TX-DOT has been planning to widen the highway, but says no work has been done yet.

"It's going to be enlarged to 4 lanes. I'm hoping that's gonna help, but I don't know if that's gonna help or make it worse because then people tend to drive faster in bigger highways," Matuszak said.

She says in the meantime, increasing police presence on 121 could help decrease accidents..

"It's just getting worse and worse everyday. The only thing they can do is patrol it. Start finding these people, they're flying by. And at night it's even worse," she said.

"We're urging people to use caution. This roadway is known for its fatalities. So, just drive with caution," Caponera said.

No names are being released. Sgt. Caponera says the driver of the box truck only suffered minor injuries, and was treated and released on scene.

Highway 121 was shut down for almost five hours as authorities cleared the accident scene. It has since reopened.


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