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Colleagues mourn nurse killed in accident

Profile image for By Megan Gray / Staff Writer
By Megan Gray / Staff Writer

A woman killed by a wrong-way driver Saturday was identified as a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton.

Amy Lynne Morrow, 55, of Rhome was struck and killed by a wrong-way driver Saturday morning at about 6:20 a.m. on Interstate 35W near FM2449. She was traveling northbound on her way to work.

Colleagues have been mourning the loss of Morrow by leaning on one another for support, said Stan Morton, president of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton.

Morton said staff members gathered for a memorial early Tuesday morning in a waiting room on the fourth floor where Morrow had worked.

“It was standing room only and some of Amy’s family attended,” he said.

On occasion, memorials are conducted for staff members by the hospital when someone close in the Texas Health family passes, Morton said.

Sometimes, he said, “we can’t attend the actual service but we do want to pay our respects.”

Tuesday morning was a way to do just that.

Hospital officials said everyone was shocked to hear about Morrow’s sudden and tragic death.

Simone Turner, director of nursing for acute care services, said Morrow was a member of “our Texas Health family.”

“We will miss her smile, quick wit and excellent nursing care,” Turner said. “We are consoled knowing we were fortunate enough to work side-by-side with her.”

Morrow started working for the hospital in October 2011, and for the last year, she worked in the post-surgical unit, said Jennifer Erickson, hospital spokeswoman.

The Amy Morrow Memorial Fund has been set up at Wells Fargo for anyone wishing to donate, officials said.

Officer Orlando Hinojosa, spokesman for the Denton Police Department, said Juan E. De La Cruz Jr., 25, was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of the highway Saturday morning when the two died in a head-on collision.

On Tuesday, Officer Ryan Grelle said that 911 calls started coming in at the 84-mile marker, which is one mile south of the I-35W and I-35E exchange, before the crash with Morrow near mile marker 81.

“Without a call from a witness, or really him being alive, we have no way of knowing exactly where he got onto the highway,” Grelle said.

He said police would like to provide some closure for both families affected by the accident, but right now the investigation is on hold.

Police said they are awaiting autopsy results from the medical examiner’s office.

On Saturday, officials said it was unclear if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash.

Troy Taylor, chief death investigator for Denton County, said the cause of death for Morrow and De La Cruz has not been officially determined.

“They are both awaiting toxicology results,” Taylor said.

Those results should be complete within four weeks, he said.

Two other drivers, Najwa Francisca Lucre, 33, and Wanda Sue Carter, 41, sideswiped each other trying to avoid the wreckage shortly after the accident, police said.

The two were treated for minor injuries at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton and released.

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