80-year-old car flips, kills Willis woman

CONROE- One woman was killed and three others were injured in a one-vehicle rollover crash that occurred around 9:30 p.m. Saturday night on South Loop 336 near Interstate 45.

A 1929 Ford Roadster went out of control for unknown reasons and flipped into the grassy median, ejecting the passengers, according to Conroe Police.

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Daredeth Perry Ward, 45, of Willis was pronounced dead on arrival at Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, Houston.

Daredeth Ward was the driver. Passenger Amy Ward, 33, was also transported to Hermann Hospital in Houston with “serious” injuries, and her 15-year-old daughter was transported to the same facility with “critical” injuries. It was not immediately clear how Daredeth and Amy Ward were related, since their age difference was only 12 years.

The fourth occupant was a 16-year-old family friend who was transported to Conroe Regional Medical Center with minor injuries. She was treated and released.

William Mayo and his fiancé witnessed the crash from the parking lot of the China Buffet, where he said the car left westbound moments before the crash. Mayo did not see the Roadster make a u-turn back toward the freeway, but he noticed the headlights as the car began to turn sideways, he said.

“It hit the curb, went up in the air and it just flipped,” Mayo said. “That’s when I came running over.”

Three of the four occupants were unresponsive. The fourth, an injured 15-year-old girl, was trying to get away from the car, he said.

The rear axle broke off and landed a few yards from the car, with two of the tires still attached.

Conroe Police Sgt. Bob Berry issued a press release Sunday afternoon that stated the initial investigation indicated the four women were not wearing seatbelts. Further investigation and witness interviews supported the explanation that the car accelerated rapidly, exceeding the 40 mph speed limit, losing traction and sliding sideways into the esplanade where it flipped about one-and-a-half times, ejecting the occupants.

Conroe Police Officers and members of the Community Oriented Response Team (CORT) began the investigation on-scene.

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