Highway investigators are waiting for autopsy reports to gain insight into what caused a fatal multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 20 on Wednesday that killed two and left two hospitalized, according to authorities.
The crash happened when former Aledo school superintendent Don Doniel, 68, suddenly crossed over onto the wrong side of the highway from westbound to eastbound I-20 Wednesday afternoon, Sgt. Lonny Haschel, a DPS spokesman, said.
Daniel and his grandson, 14-year-old Hunter Corzine, died at the scene, according to authorities.
Although the DPS previously reported that the two were from Weatherford, Corzine was identified as an Aledo resident, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office.
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Corzine was pronounced dead at 1:37 p.m. Wednesday, his cause of death ruled as multiple blunt force injuries due to the accident, the medical examiner reported.
Daniel’s cause of death has yet to be reported.
Haschel said the cause of the crash is going to “take a long time,” because investigators have to wait for the medical examiner’s autopsy.
DPS investigators have 10 days to release a preliminary report, which will be updated with more information as it comes in, he said.
The crash occurred when the Nissan pickup Daniel was driving westbound on I-20 suddenly crossed the median cable barrier and went into eastbound lanes, Haschel said.
Daniel’s pickup struck an eastbound Chevrolet Suburban head on, he said. That driver was flown to Texas Health Resources Harris Hospital with serious injuries, has undergone surgery, and was still in the hospital Thursday afternoon, Haschel said.
“The only update I had to give the trooper today was that the Chevrolet driver had surgery,” he told the Star-Telegram. “This [investigation] takes time. They are very methodical.”
Daniel’s pickup truck was also hit by an 18-wheeler. That driver is OK, he said.
A woman driving a Buick was hospitalized at Harris after she rear-ended the Suburban. Haschel didn’t have an update on her condition Wednesday.
‘Blessed’ to have him
Daniel was an educator for 42 years, 12 of which he spent as superintendent of the Aledo school district, where the ninth-grade campus is named after him.
“Right now, the district’s focus is to provide support to the family and to the students and to the staff,” deputy superintendent Lynn McKinney said.
He was pivotal to building up the Aledo school district before he retired in 2011, McKinney said.
Before joining Aledo he was assistant superintendent for Crowley schools from 1980 to 1999.
He began his teaching career at White Settlement’s Brewer High School — the same school where he earned his diploma.
He had also worked as interim superintendent at Cleburne from March to July 2014.
“We were very blessed to have him as our district leader, even for that very short period of time,” spokeswoman Lisa Magers said. “He took very good care of us.”
The Cleburne school district will honor Daniel at its Monday night school board meeting, Magers said.
Aledo said they are respecting the family’s privacy and would not comment on Corzine, but Star-Telegram media partner WFAA reported that he would have attended the Don R. Daniel Ninth Grade Campus next year.
Monica S. Nagy, 817-390-7792