Three teens killed, 5 injured in wreck

February 17, 2008 5:15:17 PM PST
Three teenagers died and five people were injured when a pickup truck slid across a highway outside Austin and slammed into an oncoming car. Rain was a factor in the Saturday crash, Texas Department of Public Safety officials said. The wreck occurred on the same highway where three Central Texas educators were killed in a crash in rainy conditions last year.

Audrey Ducote and Randall H. Hibler, both 16-year-old high school students, were killed, as was 17-year-old Lauren Hoffman of Waco.

Investigators said the collision occurred when Hibler's mother, Tammy Sue Goodman, lost control of the 2003 Ford pickup she was driving east on Texas 71. The truck hydroplaned into oncoming traffic, hitting a 2006 Acura that was carrying Ducote and Hoffman.

The driver of the Acura, 43-year-old Amy Catherine Wright, remained hospitalized in critical condition Sunday, as did 17-year-old passengers Kathryn Elizabeth Powers and Katherine Ann Singleton.

Goodman was hospitalized in stable condition Sunday. Her 7-year-old son, Stephen Austin Goodman, was in good condition. Ducote and Hoffman were not wearing seat belts, DPS spokesman Kevin Byers said.

Austin school district spokesman Andy Welch said grief counselors and other resources will be available when students return to class. v "Schools are families," Welch said in a story for Sunday's online edition of the Austin American-Statesman. "It is going to be difficult for other students -- and teachers who saw them everyday in their class."

The newspaper reported that Ducote, Hoffman, Powers and Singleton had been headed to Llano for a birthday.

"This is just a huge blow for those kids," said Austin High girls' golf coach Woody Robinson, who coached Ducote, Hoffman and Powers. v Hibler played football and baseball at nearby Marble Falls High School, said his father, Randy Hibler.

- Headlines at a glance