Year in review: A look back at 2012’s fatal traffic accidents
With the increasing population of temporary and permanent residents in South Central Texas in the wake of the Eagle Ford shale oil and natural gas boom comes more vehicular traffic, which increases the likelihood of crashes. Also on the rise is the death toll of people who have lost their lives in these mishaps. The year 2012 was a particularly tragic one on area roadways.
In December, Cpl. Javier Reyes of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Highway Patrol said that normally, his agency responds to five or six fatal crashes per year within Wilson, Karnes, and Goliad counties. Last year, DPS troopers responded to at least 24 such incidents. Almost every month during 2012, the Wilson County News had the unfortunate task of informing readers of another life lost on the area’s highways and byways, including:
•Ralph Michael Casteel, 50, of Lockhart, Jan. 17, S.H. 123 near Kosciusko.
•Justin Gregory Jones, 30, of Edmond, Okla., Jan. 21, U.S. 181 north of Floresville.
•Shelly Siegfried, 39, of Smiley, Jan. 30, F.M. 1681 near Nockenut.
•Johnnie Henry, 63, of La Vernia, Feb. 2, from injuries suffered the day before, U.S. 87 just north of F.M. 539 in Sutherland Springs.
•Linda Vela, 16, of La Vernia, Feb. 10, struck by a vehicle, F.M. 1346 outside of La Vernia.
•Lazaro Borjon, 66, of Floresville, Feb. 25, intersection of U.S. 181 and F.M. 775.
•Ernesto Marquez, 46, of Stockdale, March 8, U.S. 87 south of La Vernia.
•Two illegal immigrants from Mexico, April 21, F.M. 792 outside of Karnes City.
•Carol Harris, 69, of Tuleta and Margaret Hensley, 59, of Karnes City, April 25, intersection of S.H. 239 and C.R. 128 near Choate. Harris’ 72-year-old husband, John, died of his injuries May 29.
•Nicholas Hernandez, 32, June 22, intersection of S.H. 123 and Main Street in Stockdale.
•Corey Wayne Meeks, 29, July 7, U.S. 181 north of Falls City.
•14 illegal immigrants from Latin America, July 25, U.S. 59 near Belclair.
•Richard R. “Tiger” DeLeon, 53, of Floresville, July 28, struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Second and Trail streets in Floresville.
•Panfilo Casarez, 58, of Stockdale, Sept. 5, U.S. 87 south of La Vernia.
•Joseph Roosevelt Waters, 28, of Metairie, La., Oct. 29, U.S. 181 and F.M. 81 in Hobson.
•James Michael Skrzycki, 59, of Seguin, Nov. 16, F.M. 775 and Blue Creek Road northeast of La Vernia.