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Alcohol, speed played part in March crash

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A supplemental crash report from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) regarding a fatal car accident on March 13 states one of the drivers was travelling 91 miles per hour with a blood alcohol content over twice the legal driving limit.

On the evening of March 13, Christine Renee Jones, a 46-year-old woman from Elgin, was driving a 2015 GMC Terrain south on State Highway 95 north of Elgin, while Hilton Knox, Jr., a 73-year-old man from Hutto, was driving north in a 2016 Chevy Malibu. At around 6:22 p.m., about a mile south of Roemer Lane, Knox had traveled onto the wrong side of the highway and struck Jones head-on in the southbound lane, sending both vehicles spinning counterclockwise into the ditch on the west side of the road.

Jones died at the scene, while Knox died at a hospital about an hour later.

The weather was clear, and the road surface was dry.

The preliminary TxDOT crash report stated that Jones had been talking to her husband on the phone prior to the crash, and he told Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers that she came upon a truck tractor that had turned in front of her. The preliminary report further states she took evasive action to avoid the truck tractor and drove into the northbound lanes, hitting Knox head-on.

However, after further investigation by DPS, the supplemental report states that the truck tractor did not influence Jones’ driving behavior, but rather Knox’s. Skid marks were found in the north lanes of the highway, indicating a vehicle traveling at a high speed and braking hard; however, in the five seconds before the crash, it was determined that Jones was travelling a steady 67 miles per hour and did not apply the brakes, meaning the skid marks were not caused by her vehicle, the turning truck tractor did not influence her actions and she was not travelling on the wrong side of the highway. The truck tractor did, however, likely influence the Knox’s actions, the report states.

Knox was driving 91 miles per hour in the 65-mile-per-hour zone at the time of the crash, according to the supplemental report. After an autopsy and a toxicology report, Knox was found to have a blood alcohol content of 0.2; a driver is legally impaired with a blood alcohol content of 0.08.

In the investigator’s opinion, the supplemental report lists the influence of alcohol, speeding and driving on the wrong side of the road by Knox as contributing factors.

Jones was the funeral director for Providence Funeral Home in Taylor and Bastrop Providence Funeral Home. Previously, Jones had worked together with her husband, Brad Jones, at Providence-Jones Family Funeral Home in Elgin, where Brad Jones is currently the funeral director. Her visitation was held at Providence-Jones Funeral Home in March. Brad Jones was also recently elected as a member of the Elgin City Council.