Police: Fallen stop sign likely cause of fatal accident near downtown Houston

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A fallen stop sign was likely cause of fatal accident near downtown, according to police. (KTRK)

A fallen stop sign likely caused a crash Sunday that killed a Houston woman, according to police.

Marta Argueta, 59, was the passenger in a Toyota Corolla that was hit by an SUV at Hackney and Jefferson east of downtown. She was pronounced dead at a hospital a short time later.

Adanary Jacques lives just feet from the crash site. She was outside at the time and witnessed the crash.

"(The SUV driver) normally does not drive through here. So she wouldn't even had a hunch that there's supposed to be a stop sign there," Jacques said.

She said the SUV driver and two children emerged from the vehicle without serious injuries and immediately tried to help.

Ana Argueta, Marta's daughter, said her father was driving the car but he was unhurt.

"We are fortunate and blessed that we still have him. He's not handling it very well. He's very emotional," she said.

Witnesses said it was not clear whether the SUV driver was speeding. She has not been charged in the incident and police continue to investigate.

High winds this weekend may have helped knock the sign down but it was likely already damaged. Police temporarily attached it with zip ties and city crews came out to fix it Sunday.

Alanna Reed with the city's public works department said residents can report damaged signs to 311.

"Traffic operations crews repaired the sign this morning and usually replace stop signs within 24 hours after receiving the work order," Reed said.

The Argueta family wants more answers about the circumstances of the crash. Those questions loom over their grief, as they also try to reflect on Marta's life and not dwell on the tragic way she died.

"Everybody loved her. She was everybody's refuge. If anybody needed help with anything, she was the one to go to for advice," Ana Argueta said.

Marta leaves behind five daughters, nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are pending.

You can support the family through a GoFundMe they have set up.
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traffic fatalitiesHouston
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