Dayton woman killed in Tuesday morning crash

A 29-year-old Dayton woman, Toni Jo Brown, was killed Tuesday morning, Aug. 25, in a head-on collision on SH 321 just north of FM 1008 in the Tarkington area. She leaves behind two young children.

According to Sgt. Rob Willoughby with the Texas Department of Public Safety, Brown was traveling northbound on SH 321 in a 2005 Nissan Altima when the crash occurred.

“Witnesses reported to us that her vehicle was all over the road,” Willoughby said.

Brown drove her vehicle into the path of a southbound Ford F-250 driven by Martin Rueda, 47, of Cleburne. After striking his vehicle, her car collided head-on with a 2012 Dodge Ram 3500 driven by Joshua Robinson, 29, of Coldspring.

Brown’s vehicle came to rest on the west shoulder of the southbound lane. She was killed in the impact. Robinson had minor injuries and was taken by ground ambulance to HCA Houston ER 24/7 in Cleveland. Rueda was not hospitalized.

Pct. 5 Justice of the Peace Wade Brown made the pronouncement of death and ordered an autopsy.

The accident occurred at a time that people were evacuating through Liberty County from neighboring coastal communities, which made the accident investigation more challenging, Willoughby said.

“It just happened at a really bad time for traffic. We had to keep the northbound lane flowing for the most part while we finished our crash investigation,” he said.

The Pct. 5 Constable’s Office, Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and Tarkington and HWY 321 volunteer fire departments assisted at the scene.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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