Lexington police re-open fatal wreck investigation - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Lexington police re-open fatal wreck investigation

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The police chief believes the victim's car may have experienced a mechanical issue. The police chief believes the victim's car may have experienced a mechanical issue.
LEXINGTON, AL (WAFF) -

Tuesday marked three months since a deadly crash in Lauderdale County.

32-year-old Aubrey Williams was killed in a fiery crash on Highway 64 in Lexington. Investigators originally blamed distracted driving for the wreck, but have since reopened the case, saying it could have been a mechanical fault.

Chief Augie Hendershot said the cause remained an unsettled issue in his mind since the crash. He said he owes it to the family to find an answer. "I believe we need to look into this as good as we can so they can have the peace of mind that they need," he said.

Williams had just left her two young boys at school on Dec. 4 when she crashed her vehicle into a log truck. Williams died at the scene; the driver of the semi was taken to the hospital with injuries.

Williams' father, Steve Smith, said not a day goes by he doesn't think of his daughter. "She was always a safe driver, and you would never think she would take her eye off the road," he said.

"She was healthy. There was no medical history involving seizures or passing out. Then we started looking at the time of day," Hendershot said, describing the investigation. "If it would've been early in the morning we would have thought someone would have been fatigued, but we didn't have any evidence to do that."

Last week, General Motors expanded their ignition switch recall – an announcement that caught Chief Hendershot's attention. "There's been a history with that particular vehicle that she was driving, having malfunctions as far as the electric steering. Also, battery issues and an ignition issue; that's when we started putting this together," he said.

Smith, Hendershot and investigators discussed the recent GM recall, which fits descriptions of cars similar to the one driven by Smith's daughter. "It was like pulling a scab off a sore; it just hit you again what might have happened," he said.

The chief said he's reviewed the evidence from the crash site hundreds of times. Now he believes they are one step closer to finding an exact cause.

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