Wrong-way crash on 290 leaves 1 man dead, 4 A&M students hospitalized

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by KHOU.com staff

khou.com

Posted on March 16, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 17 at 6:53 PM

HOUSTON—Four Texas A&M students remained hospitalized Monday after a wrong-way driver plowed into them early Sunday morning.

Now another Aggie student says he saw that driver minutes before the deadly crash, but managed to avoid getting hit. That’s coming to light as investigators work to determine why the driver was going the wrong way.

“I just see headlights, so I start thinking maybe I should slow down,” said Gus Gonzalez. “I see it get closer and closer.”

Gonzalez is a freshman at Texas A&M. He was heading back to campus early Sunday morning when he was forced to get out of the way.

“Last minute I swerved off the road and spun out onto the shoulder,” said Gonzalez.

Gus was OK, but the car that narrowly missed him crashed minutes later. Deputies said the driver Jon Fontana plowed into a Jeep Liberty full of students heading back to college. He died instantly. Four Texas A&M students were sent to the hospital.

“I knew something bad was going to happen if someone else was on the road,” said Gonzalez. “Guy was in the left lane. The fast lane, just coming straight.”

Gonzalez said he feels fortunate that it wasn’t him.

“Now, knowing that what happened after, almost happened to me, it freaks me out,” said Gonzalez.

Last year, it happened too. On March 3, 2013, two Aggie Cadets were killed by another wrong-way driver. That driver was drunk. But two strangely similar accidents almost a year to the day apart has some drivers asking the question: Does something need to change along Highway 290?

“The way that they have those barriers lined up, somebody might get messed up,” said one driver, Airlee Marsh.

“Last night when we were traveling back it was a bit confusing,” said another driver, Lan Nguyen. “The signage, especially the 99 off ramp. I was sober, and we had a couple issues. So it could be the signage.” 

We reached out to TxDOT to talk about drivers’ concerns, but did not hear back Monday night. Deputies have said they are not sure alcohol was a factor in this crash. We still don’t know why this driver was heading in the opposite direction. The Harris County Sheriff’s Department says the investigation is ongoing.

 

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