According to Texas Highway Patrol, a 5-year-old girl and a 9-month-old baby were killed on Monday when their mother’s vehicle was struck by a pickup truck in Erath County.
Troopers responded to the scene of a three-vehicle accident on US 281 at County Road 466, about two miles north of Morgan Mill, at about 3:30 p.m. Monday afternoon.
A preliminary investigation report shows that 33-year-old Carrie Sackett was headed northbound on U.S. Highway 281 with four child passengers, when she slowed her 2017 GMC Acadia SUV to make a left turn onto County Road 466.
As Sackett waited on southbound traffic to pass so she could turn, her vehicle was struck in the rear by a 2018 Dodge pickup truck driven by 33-year-old Alyssia Litwin (of Stephenville). As a result of the collision, Sackett’s SUV was pushed into the southbound lane of US 281 where the vehicle was struck again on the right passenger side by a 2004 Chevrolet pickup truck heading south.
According to Texas DPS spokesman Dub Gillum, two of Sackett’s daughters (9-month-old Charli and 5-year-old Codie Sackett) tragically died at the scene of the crash. Their mother, Carrie Sackett, was airlifted in critical condition to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth where she is now in stable condition. The other two children in Sackett’s vehicle were not hurt.
The driver of the Chevrolet pickup truck, 17-year-old Braylen Fain (of Ropesville), was taken to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Stephenville for treatment. Litwin was treated for minor injuries.
Officials note that this auto accident is still under investigation, but say they do expect Litwin to face criminal charges. To those who wish to donate to the victims’ family, a GoFundMe fundraiser has been set up here.
Officials now say that Alyssa Gayle Litwin was engaged in several text message conversations in the minutes leading up to the fatal crash, but deleted the messages before turning her phone over to investigators.
According to Erath County District Attorney Alan Nash, Alyssa Gayle Litwin has been charged with:
- Two counts of manslaughter, each a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison.
- One count of aggravated assault, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison.
- Four counts of endangering a child, each a state jail felony punishable by 180 days to two years in state jail.
- One count of tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison.
After announcing the charges, Nash gave the following statement. “As District Attorney, I generally do not comment in detail on pending charges. That being said, it is important for the drivers of Erath County to be warned that local prosecutors and law enforcement view cell phone use that takes one’s eyes off the road, even for a few seconds, as reckless. … The term reckless is significant because the law provides that operating a motor vehicle in a reckless manner which causes death, bodily injury, or puts a child at risk, is criminal and will be treated that way. … We should all be chastened by this horrific, completely avoidable catastrophe for the Sackett family and put our cell phones away when we are driving.”