911 calls came in before fatal crash

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Wrong-way driver, Rhome woman die in I-35W collision

Two people are dead and two others were taken to a local hospital after a wrong-way driver caused a four-vehicle accident Saturday morning on Interstate 35W in Denton, police said.

Officer Orlando Hinojosa, a Denton police spokesman, said dispatchers received multiple 911 calls around 6:20 a.m. about a man driving southbound in the northbound lanes of the highway near FM2449.

The man, Hinojosa said, was driving a Honda Accord and caused a head-on collision with a woman driving a Toyota Highlander.

“Both were dead on arrival,” Hinojosa said.

The wrong-way driver was identified as Juan E. De La Cruz Jr., a 25-year-old with an Illinois driver’s license, according to police.

The driver of the Toyota was identified as 55-year-old Amy Lynne Morrow of Rhome, police said.

Two other vehicles swiped one another while trying to get around the accident, officials said.

Those two drivers were transported to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton and are in good condition, police said.

Police said the highway was closed for about four hours.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

“It’s unknown at this time if speed and/or alcohol were a factor in the accident,” Hinojosa said.

MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885 and at @MGrayNews on Twitter.

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