By Jimmie Ferguson
Killeen Daily Herald
Three days ago, William Rausch lost his wife when a tire from an 18-wheeler came off the tractor-trailer, rolled across Interstate 35 in Temple and killed her.
The 50-year-old Belton man is preparing to bury his spouse, Myong C. Rausch, 48, Thursday yet finding the vehicle and the driver of that tractor-truck weighs heavily on his mind.
Rausch needs help. Anyone who saw the accident and can identify the 18-wheeler involved is encouraged to contact Sgt. Allen Teston of the Temple Police Department at (254) 298-5500.
TPD Commander Edward Best said Tuesday that his department had no leads in the case.
He must be held accountable, said William Rausch, referring to the driver of the 18-wheeler, whom he said may not even know what happened, but may now know that he lost a tire.
The accident, which occurred around 6:10 p.m. Sunday, also left Yong Ae Irwin, 49, of Harker Heights in serious condition, Teston said.
Myong Rausch, driving her 1998 Toyota Avalon, was heading south on Interstate 35 in the middle lane. Evidence at the scene and statements provided by officers show that the tractor-trailer was northbound on I-35, when a wheel came off the rig. It went airborne over the center wall and struck the Toyota as it was traveling south, Teston said.
Rausch was killed on impact, Teston said.
William Rausch, a big-rig driver himself, said he saw the wheel that killed his wife. He said he noticed it appeared to have five of the 10 nuts and bolts shaved off and the other five bolt holes were empty.
This means either the nuts were loose when the guy left from wherever and they came off or they werent on in the beginning, Rausch said.
After his wifes funeral, William Rausch said he planned to drive from Temple to Dallas, checking with tractor-trailer repair shops to see if someone came in to purchase a tire and wheel.
Its not unusual for someone to buy a tire, but it is very unusual to purchase a tire and wheel, Rausch said.
Contact Jimmie Ferguson at firstname.lastname@example.org