New information has come to light about a June auto accident that claimed the lives of two people.
On June 11, Sgt. Dougal E. Mitchell, a 32-year-old Fort Hood soldier originally from Palmdale, Calif., died from injuries sustained in the crash.
According to the crash report, Mitchell was driving the wrong way on State Highway 195 in Williamson County when his vehicle collided with a vehicle being driven by Mikeshia Ruiz, 23. The impact also killed Ruiz. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
According to the crash report, autopsies revealed that alcohol and drugs were present in Mitchell’s system at the time of the crash. His blood alcohol level was listed as 0.19 in the crash report.
Ruiz’s family members are still coping with the loss, said her mother, Migdalia Ruiz-Aguilar.
“In a matter of seconds my entire life had been turned upside down,” Ruiz-Aguilar said in a statement to the Herald.
At the time of the crash, Ruiz was traveling north to her grandmother’s house in the Killeen-Fort Hood area. She grew up in Killeen, served in the Army and later moved to Austin to attend college, her mother said.
Ruiz completed basic and advanced individual training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., to become a military police officer, her mother said.
In the past, State Highway 195 has had a bad reputation for violent car crashes, Those tragic accidents are still occurring, Ruiz-Aguilar said.
“For years, Highway 195 has been considered to be a very dangerous road to travel at night ... (with the possibility) of collisions with deer, other wildlife and drunk drivers traveling to and from Austin, Texas, and other surrounding cities,” she said.
“With the widening of the road on both sides of Highway 195 and creating more lanes, you might think that it would help travelers, but it hasn’t.
“There have been and are still tragic accidents and deaths that continuously occur because of irresponsible people that decide to get behind the wheel of a vehicle to drive under the influence or tired still trying to get to their destination. Some do make it and some never make it and the morning of June 11th Mikeshia Ruiz never made it due to someone else’s negligence.”
Ruiz-Aguilar said Mitchell had left a Killeen bar in the early morning hours of June 11, shortly before the crash. She said she wants to hold those responsible for letting Mitchell drive while drunk. She said she is offering a reward for more information. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ruiz-Aguilar said Mikeshia’s father, Tychicus Whitfield, still lives in Killeen and has taken the loss especially hard.
“I would like him to know she loved him more than he would ever know,” she said. “A proud veteran lost his daughter.”