A Dallas woman, distraught after her pickup was involved in chain-reaction wreck early Tuesday, was killed while standing next to the wreckage on Instate 35E in southeastern Denton County, officials said.
Virginia Taylor, 32, was the only person to die in the four-vehicle accident, said Trooper Lonny Haschel, spokesman for the Texas Department of Transportation Highway Patrol.
The wreck caused a five-hour traffic jam for people trying to enter Dallas County from the Denton area. The backup started to unwind at 7:20 a.m., according to reports.
It was reported 2:30 a.m. in the southbound lanes of I35E near Hickory Creek. Haschel called it "an unusually tragic chain of events."
"This was actually four separate wrecks," he said. "If anything in that chain could have been broken, it may not have happened."
The first wreck involved a silver Nissan 350Z driven by Krystal Sanchez, 30, of Lewisville, Haschel said.
"She was going southbound on I35 and, for unknown reasons, she lost control, struck the center median," he said.
The Nissan came to rest in the middle of I35E.
Sanchez and her passenger, Michael Nations, 21, also of Lewisville, got out and they went to the shoulder of the interstate, fearing they might be struck in the dimly-lit area, Haschel said.
Next, a blue Dodge pickup driven by Matthew Davis, 27, of Grapevine hit the Nissan. Davis also got out of his vehicle to get away from the wreckage, Haschel said.
"There are no street lights out there and it's dark," the trooper said. "They all got out of the way, fearing they could get hit."
Taylor, according to Haschel, was in the third vehicle -- a brown Mazda pickup -- which also crashed into the Nissan.
"She got out (of the Mazda) and was very upset," Haschel said. "She had her hands over her eyes and she didn't see a fourth vehicle."
It was a brown Ford pickup driven by Braden Johnson, 22, of Gainesville, which struck the Mazda.
"She was outside of her pickup and still standing in the freeway," Haschel said. "That collision caused her pickup to hit her and it killed her."
Nations tried to help Taylor before she was struck, but he was also hit, Haschel said. The man was taken to Medical Center of Lewisville where he was treated and released, Hashcel said.
Investigators told Haschel that Sanchez would be the only person to be ticketed in the wreck, and probably for going too fast, he said.