Two children and one young woman were killed Sunday in a head-on crash on U.S. Highway 380, Denton police say.
A total of six people were in two vehicles that were involved in the crash at about 11:43 a.m. on US 380 and Rockhill Road, officials said.
The Denton Police Department said Monday that detectives are still trying to figure out what caused the crash.
“It’s one of the worst accidents I’ve seen in 28 years of doing this,” said Denton Fire Battalion Chief David Boots.
Two additional vehicles were impacted, but the people in those vehicles were uninjured, police said.
In a black Mercedes-Benz, first responders found one adult who died at the crash scene and a second adult who was hospitalized. Two adults and two children in a white Ford Mustang were rushed to the hospital where the two children were pronounced dead.
Two girls, 4-year-old Katherine Satterfield and 6-month-old Karoline Satterfield, were secured in their car seats inside the Mustang, according to Denton police.
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Both girls were pronounced dead at the hospital, according to police.
Jordan Dodson, 31, was also killed in the crash. She was driving the Mercedes.
“She had a zest for life. She understood the fragility of life and appreciated the time she had,” said Dodson’s uncle Brian Rebecek. “When she was born, she had a condition called polycystic kidneys, where both of her kidneys were just full of cysts. So straight out of the womb, she was in a fight for her life.”
He says his niece received several kidney and liver transplants throughout her life, thanks to her father, her own fiancé and an organ donor who had died.
Dodson was driving the Mercedes that her fiancé Robert had just surprised her with the day before the crash.
He was in the passenger seat and was badly injured, as were two adults in the Mustang.
“[Robert] knows that Jordan passed, so he’s devastated,” said Rebecek.
The young woman also leaves behind her parents and two younger siblings.
“They’re crushed right now,” said Rebecek.
The tragic scene has left several families devastated and witnesses forever shaken.
“I think about that all the time. Just a record in my head,” said Rebekah Carwile through tears. “Why? Why was I saved and them not?”
Carwile says she was driving in front of the black Mercedes when the white Mustang crossed into on-coming traffic.
“This white Mustang with racing stripes on the hood, he was just coming at me,” she said. “He didn’t stop. He just kept coming and I don’t know what he could’ve been doing because to me it was just a straight shot.”
Carwile managed to swerve, was clipped and spun around as the Mustang crashed into the Mercedes.
“I wish it could’ve been me,” said a tearful Carwile of the two young lives lost. “They didn’t even have a start on their life. I’ve had 66 years.”
"Our hearts go out to everyone involved in this tragedy, and we ask that the community keep everyone involved in their thoughts as well," police said in a statement.
Officials have not determined the cause of the crash, but some drivers are questioning the safety of Highway 380.
“It’s a dangerous section of the road and there’s no doubt about it,” said Boots. “It’s basically an undivided highway. There’s no center divider, there’s no median, there’s no cables, no barricades or anything else.”
The previous fatal head-on collision along Highway 380 in Denton happened in February, according to the police department.
TxDOT says there are improvements in the works to improve safety and mobility.
A spokesperson provided details about two projects:
"There is a $21 million project currently under construction from Loop 288 to US 377. The project will add a raised median with left and right turn lanes on US 380 and is anticipated to be completed in late 2023, weather permitting. There is also an estimated $140 million project that will begin later this year from the US 377/US 380 intersection to the Collin County line that will widen US 380 from four to six lanes with grade separations at major intersections."
In addition, TxDOT is conducting a long-term feasibility study to analyze potential transportation options, including improving the US 380 existing alignment or utilizing new alignments. Additional information about the US 380 Denton County feasibility study can be found here: https://380dentonstudy.com/ ‘
“The reality is two families are dealing with devastating loss,” said Rebecek. “And finding out what happened, assigning blame, it does nobody good.”
Dodson was a proud organ donor and encouraged her family to join the effort, he said. Her family now hopes she can be a viable organ donor and help others, just as she was helped when she was a teenager.