Crash on Eagle Drive in Mont Belvieu claims lives of Liberty County mother, daughter

On Wednesday, May 17, 2023, at 11:01 a.m., a major crash was reported in the 11900 block of Eagle Drive, a two-lane north/south thoroughfare in Mont Belvieu. This location is on Eagle Drive approximately a quarter-mile north of FM 565.

The Mont Belvieu Police Department responded along with Mont Belvieu Fire and EMS units where it was determined that there were two vehicles involved in the crash; a 2010 Dodge Nitro SUV and a 2013 Peterbilt tractor truck towing a large flatbed trailer. 

Officers discovered that the 40-year-old female driver, Melba Castro, and a 13-year-old female rear-seat passenger in the Dodge Nitro were deceased inside the vehicle.

A third-occupant, a two-year-old female child, was discovered alive and alert inside her rear-seat child restraint system. The child appeared to be uninjured, but was flown via air ambulance to a Houston-area hospital as a precaution. The driver/sole-occupant of the tractor-trailer rig was uninjured.

Initial information indicates that the tractor-trailer rig was northbound on Eagle Drive, attempting a U-turn across both lanes of traffic. The truck became stuck in the right-of-way area during the U-turn, which left the flatbed trailer extended across both lanes of traffic. The southbound Dodge Nitro then struck the trailer as it extended across both lanes of traffic.

The Mont Belvieu Police Department is the lead investigating agency and were assisted by the Baytown Police Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol, and the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office. The roadway was reopened at 4 p.m.

This investigation is active. Next-of-kin notifications have been completed. The fatalities were identified as Melba Castro, age 40, and her daughter, age 13, both from Liberty, Texas.

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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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