Investigators change assessment of who caused fatal traffic accident

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An investigation into a two-fatality traffic accident that occurred June 30 has determined that the initial assessment of the person responsible for the crash was wrong.

Rhonda Barney, 57, of Carrollton died at the scene of the four-vehicle accident, and Ryan Abraham, 21, of Ponder died at a Denton emergency room.

Another driver was critically injured, according to police reports.

The accident occurred at about 9 p.m. on U.S. Highway 380 about two miles west of Interstate 35. Barney was driving a Nissan Altima and Abraham was at the wheel of a Toyota Tacoma.

Traffic Officer Gary Craig said Monday that investigators based their initial assessment on the reports of witnesses, who were incorrect about the direction each vehicle was traveling at the point of the head-on impact.

“The Nissan was, in fact, eastbound, with the Tacoma westbound,” Craig said. “The Tacoma crossed over from the westbound lanes into the eastbound lanes striking the Nissan driven by Ms. Barney.”

That means that Abraham was at fault instead of Barney, the accident investigator said.

Three other occupants of two other vehicles were taken to area hospitals.

Craig said that an autopsy showed the presence of THC, a component of marijuana, in Abraham’s test results.

“We are not implying that this test result is a contributing factor in the crash,” he said.

DONNA FIELDER can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is .


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