The pages of the Messenger carried stories on 14 fatalities on and off Wise County roads in 2013 – but not all came as a result of traffic accidents.
Two were listed as suicides – one of those a pedestrian who stepped in front of a truck, the other a man who shot himself in his car after being pulled over for driving erratically.
The first traffic death of the year came four days into January, when a five-month-old baby lost his life on U.S. 287 as his family traveled from Colorado. The last was a 79-year-old pedestrian, hit on the road near Boyd just three days before Christmas.
Six of the fatalities came as a result of one-vehicle accidents, while only five involved collisions. In four of those five, one of the vehicles was a truck.
May, June and September saw no fatalities on Wise County roads. August had the most, with three, while there were two in July, October and December and one each in January, February, March, April and November.
Saturday and Monday were the deadliest days, with four fatalities each. Three were on a Tuesday, two on Fridays and only one on Sunday. None occurred on a Wednesday or a Thursday.
There were no multi-fatality accidents in Wise County in 2013.
Although any number is too much, the 2013 total was the lowest in several years. Last year 18 people died on Wise County roads and the year before, 16 lost their lives. In the previous decade, 185 people died on the county’s roads – an average of more than 18 per year.
Here’s the list for 2013:
FRIDAY, JAN. 4: Five-month-old Curtis Cooper, Colorado Springs, Colo., one-vehicle rollover on U.S. 81/287 south of Decatur.
MONDAY, FEB. 4: Toby Baker, 39, Boyd, collided with a pump-vac truck on Farm Road 114 at County Road 3241 west of Paradise.
SATURDAY, MARCH 30: Vernon Allen Wingate Jr. 50, Bridgeport, one-vehicle motorcycle wreck on County Road 3424 south of Bridgeport.
SATURDAY, APRIL 6: Sylvia Norris, 70, Decatur, one-vehicle rollover on County Road 4227, just south of U.S. 81/287.
SATURDAY, JULY 3: Austin J. Tollnay, 24, Carrollton, rear-ended a truck on U.S. 81/287 north of Decatur.
MONDAY, JULY 15: Juan A. Sanchez-Reyes, 39, Dallas, pedestrian hit by a truck on Farm Road 114 near Rhome (ruled a suicide).
FRIDAY, AUG. 2: Kenneth King, 49, Fort Worth, rear-ended an 18-wheeler on Farm Road 114 in southeast Wise County.
SATURDAY, AUG. 10: Andrew Chase Walker, 21, Bridgeport, one-vehicle rollover on Farm Road 2952 near Lake Bridgeport.
TUESDAY, AUG. 20: Andre Jordan, 41, Arlington, one-vehicle motorcycle wreck on Farm Road 1810 at County Road 1450 near Chico.
MONDAY, OCT. 14: Larry Robert Hillbers, 43, Bellevue, hit by a jackknifing 18-wheeler on Texas 101 north of Chico.
TUESDAY, OCT. 22: Clifford Fine, 81, Decatur, two-vehicle accident at Washburn and Walnut Streets in Decatur.
TUESDAY, NOV. 5: Franklin Kevin Bates, 41, Decatur, gunshot wound in car on U.S. 81/287 in Rhome (ruled a suicide).
MONDAY, DEC. 9: Chris Northcutt, 34, Keller, off-road rollover off County Road 1370 near Alvord.
SUNDAY, DEC. 22: James “Pete” Sanders, 79, Boyd, pedestrian hit by vehicle on County Road 4699 between Boyd and Cottondale.