By Sonya Campbell

Harker Heights Herald

Belton police are continuing their investigation into a two-vehicle wreck that occurred Oct. 17, claiming the life of a 19-year-old Houston woman and leaving three other people injured, including a 13-year-old boy.

The deceased woman, identified as Samantha Egger Whetzel, was the wife of a Fort Hood soldier, Belton Police Chief Gene Ellis said.

Officers responded to the 2000 block of East Sixth Ave. at about 6:15 p.m. Oct. 17.

Their preliminary investigation indicated a 2006 Nissan Altima, driven by Kendra West, 38, of Temple, crossed the center line while traveling west on East Sixth Avenue and struck a 2010 Nissan Sentra head on.

The Sentra was being driven by Jessie Whetzel Jr. 22, of Fort Hood. His wife, who died at the scene, was a passenger in the car.

The 13-year-old was a passenger in the Altima.

Those injured were taken to Scott & White Hospital, and all three have since been released, Ellis said.

Investigators have taken digital measurements where the wreck occurred to determine distances and angles, which will be downloaded and converted into a scale diagram of the accident scene.

Ellis also noted investigators have also another tool at their disposal when it comes to newer cars - a black box or onboard computer system. He said the system typically records such factors as speed, time of braking and use of turn signals before and during the time of a crash.

While the police department is making headway in the investigation, it could take weeks or months for it to come to a conclusion.

The police chief said waiting on lab results and other data can slow down the process.

Contact Sonya Campbell at sonyas@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7557.

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