GRAPEVINE, Texas - A wrong-way driver killed himself and another man in a violent crash in Grapevine.
The wreck happened around 4:40 a.m. Thursday on Highway 114 near Highway 26. Police said a driver in a silver Toyota Rav 4 was heading westbound in the eastbound lanes out of Irving.
Irving police followed the SUV and tried to get the driver's attention. They couldn't get him to stop until it was too late. He hit a red Pontiac Sunfire head on.
The wrong-way driver, Randell Pinto, 26, was killed instantly. The person in the second vehicle, Tom Vogt, 51, was on his way to the airport when he was killed.
Dallas attorney William Brotherton was driving on the same stretch of highway as he started out on a road trip to Atlanta, encountering Pinto just moments before he crashed head-on into Vogt.
“You think about it in that split second that, boy, this could be it,” Brotherton said.
Grapevine police say it does not appear Pinto was speeding as he drove the wrong way and say there were no obvious signs of alcohol or drug use, but toxicology results are pending.
“He was in the middle lane,” said Sgt. Robert Eberling with Grapevine police. “He was not swerving or moving and I saw his silhouette. He was staring straight ahead and I could see he had both hands on the steering wheel.”
Vogt's relatives say the grief is overwhelming compounded by not knowing why Pinto was driving the wrong way on a major highway for such a long stretch.
“We want facts sooner than we can get them,” said Margee Harring, Vogt’s cousin. “And you want to know the cause. It helps to go through the process of why did this have to happen.”
The highway was shut down between Northwest Parkway and William D. Tate Avenue for several hours for an investigation. It has since reopened.