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Fort Worth man dies when car hits back of excavator

FORT WORTH -- A 23-year-old man died overnight when the car he was driving crashed into the back of a large piece of excavating equipment parked at a construction site on the city's south side, according to reports.

Jose Castillo-Herrera, 23, of Fort Worth was identified by the Tarrant County medical examiner's office. He was pronounced dead at 12:40 a.m. at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, where he was taken following the crash, the M.E. said.

The accident happened at 300 W. Risinger Road, police said.

It was unclear Tuesday when the crash actually happened because the wreckage was discovered by a passing motorist who did not see it happen, said Sgt. Rodney Bangs, supervisor of the traffic investigation unit.

Investigators believe Castillo-Herrera had been westbound on Risinger Road in a 2000 Chevrolet Camaro when he struck the trackhoe, which is a large backhoe on tracks, Bangs said.

Bangs said he learned that the trackhoe was being used for construction in the area, possibly to replace or install underground pipes.

"Essentially, right now that area is down to one lane," Bangs said. "Because of what they've done to the roadway, only a portion is paved, the track hoe was parked on the south side, which is the eastbound lanes."

Investigators believe that Castillo-Herrera stayed on the pavement, which put him in the wrong lane, Bangs said. They also believe speed might have contributed to the crash.

Bangs added, however, that the area was not well lit and there did not appear to be any barricades, cones or signs marking the equipment.

He also noted that he did not know if any safety laws might had been violated at the scene because such matters are not included in the Texas transportation code.

Bangs said that question could be put to the city's engineering department, which was notified about the accident. Officials from that department could not be reached for comment Tuesday morning.