Four Dead After Car Plunges Into Pond

Police say it's not clear if recalled floormat played role in fatal crash

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    Investigators are looking into whether or not the reason for a recent Toyota recall could be related to a fatal crash over the weekend in Southlake.

    Four people were killed when a Toyota Avalon smashed through a pipe fence and then flipped into a pond north of state Highway 114 on Saturday morning.

    Witnesses said neighbors jumped into the frigid pond and tried to rescue the people trapped inside the car. All four people were pulled out alive, but they later died at area hospitals later Saturday evening.

    Accident Investigation Continues in Southlake

    [DFW] Accident Investigation Continues in Southlake
    Investigators are still looking for the cause of an accident that killed four people in Southlake, and part of the focus is a recent Toyota recall.

    Officials said the four victims were Monty Hardy, 56, of Southlake; Hadassah Vance,35, of Euless; Wendy Akion, 38, of Irving; and Sharon Ransom, 56, of Grapevine.

    They were members of the same church, the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Grapevine.

    Four Dead After Car Plunges Into Pond

    [DFW] Four Dead After Car Plunges Into Pond
    Four people died after a car smashed through a fence and then flipped into a pond north of state Highway 114 in Southlake over the weekend.

    Southlake police are looking into whether or not a stuck gas pedal could have caused the crash.

    In September, Toyota recalled nearly four million cars and trucks, including the Avalon, warning that the floormat on the driver's side could snag the gas pedal, causing the car to speed out of control.

    "We're getting that inquiry more than anything else. But until the accident investigation team does their part with that vehicle, we don't know yet," Officer Roderick Page said.

    Investigators should know by the end of next week if the floormat contributed to the crash.

    The crash has sparked concerns about the intersection of Burney and Lonesome Dove roads.

    Page said the intersection has not been noted as a trouble spot.

    "This is just an unfortunate situation. It’s pretty well marked. We’ve never had any accidents or anything down here," said resident Byron Copeland.

    But one of Copeland's neighbors disagreed, saying she would like to see speed bumps added to the roadway to keep drivers in check. She said people regularly exceed the posted 30-mph speed limit.

    "People drive too fast on Lonesome Dove and on Burney," she said. "I have talked to the city, I have talked to the police. Even the school buses drive too fast, and we’ve got to do something. I don't want to see anyone else get hurt."  

    NBCDFW's Frank Heinz and Kevin Cokely contributed to this report.