By CHRIS AGEE
The driver of a compact passenger vehicle died Wednesday night, after crashing, head on, with an 18-wheeler on U.S. Highway 281, south of Mineral Wells.
According to Department of Public Safety Trooper Gary Rozzell, the collision occurred about 9 miles east of Santo, near Interstate 20, just after 9 p.m.
John Earl Bridgeford, 62, of Granbury was driving a 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier southbound along the highway when he crossed over into the northbound lane for an unknown reason, Rozzell added.
Reports show he crashed into a 2006 Peterbuilt truck tractor driven by Jason John Diehl, of Garden City, Kan.
Both the driver and his passenger, Deborah Jane Bridgeford, 62, of Granbury, were wearing safety belts prior to the collision.
John Bridgeford was pronounced dead at the scene by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Todd Baker, Rozzell explained, noting his body was taken from the scene to Baum-Carlock-Bumgardner Funeral Home in Mineral Wells.
Deborah Bridgeford was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth for treatment of her injuries, he said, noting she remained in stable condition with multiple fractures as of Friday.
Diehl was not injured in the crash, he added.
The incident was investigated by Trooper Hank Beverage, who was assisted by Sgt. Jeffery Poole and five other regional troopers, Rozzell said.
He explained weather conditions were clear at the time of the crash and did not provide a possible reason for Bridgeford to merge into the oncoming lane.
No charges had been filed against anyone involved, as of Friday, Rozzell added.