Woman who called 911 after fatal crash speaks out, victim identified

Posted at 4:24 AM, Nov 03, 2016
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:30:30-04

A China Spring woman who witnessed the aftermath of a fatal crash on Highway 6 on early Thursday morning said seeing the damage in the aftermath of the crash and a previous family tragedy prompted her to pull over and call 911. 

Police identified the man who died after a crash involving multiple vehicles on Highway 6 on early Thursday morning as Donald Ray, 54. Three people traveling in the other two cars involved were sent to the hospital to be treated for significant injuries, including broken bones.

Highway 6 northbound was shut down at the Twin Bridges over Lake Waco after an 18-wheeler and two vehicles got into an accident before 3 a.m. this morning.

According to Waco police, a female driver was traveling in the wrong direction on the northbound lanes of Highway 6. She then struck a car traveling northbound. An 18-wheeler tanker truck carrying glycerin, a non-flammable substance, traveling northbound was either involved in the crash or tried to avoid it and rolled over. 

LaTonya Fields who was on her way to take her son to the emergency room around this time and was traveling southbound at the time when she noticed the crash.

"I heard a big bang or bump or something like that. As I got a little bit closer, I started hitting debris on my side of the highway," Fields said. "I pulled over. I looked at my son and said this accident is really bad, I'm going to have to stop. I have to make sure these people are okay."

Fields who said she called 911 mentioned noticing two cars when she stepped out of the car but not seeing the 18-wheeler truck.

"I heard a scream first and then what I noticed is that a lady was trying to get out of the car because there was smoke coming out of the car," Fields said.

She added seeing accidents like this remind her of losing her 21-year-old brother in an accident years ago.

"Every time I see an accident, it brings me back to that and I could not be there. I wasn't there for him. I was in another town but I could be there for these individuals," Fields said.

Emergency crews were able to get one lane clear for northbound traffic around 6:25 a.m., and re-routed some traffic to the frontage road. 

The name of the deceased had not been released on Thursday night. The exact sequence of events is still under investigation. Highway 6 will be closed on Friday for police to complete the accident reconstruction investigation.

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