AP NEWS
Related topics

Second person dies from injuries suffered in fatal US 90 accident in Dayton

December 20, 2018 GMT

A second person has died from injuries sustained in the deadly accident involving a distracted driver in Dayton.

The accident occurred Dec. 10 on U.S. 90 near FM 1413 and Whispering Meadows Baptist Church when Joann Lucille Basco pulled over and was rear-ended on the shoulder of the highway.

The family of Basco, 54, of Dayton announced she was taken off life support late Thursday afternoon and succumbed to her injuries shortly after 7 p.m. on Dec. 19.

“She was a great grandmother to my children,” her daughter Ashley Timmons said through her tears. “You couldn’t have asked for anyone better.”

Timmons was at work on Monday and didn’t learn of the accident until four hours later. She said her mother had a donut type spare tire on the car and thought maybe she had another flat or something was wrong with the car.

“My niece undid her seatbelt and was between the car seats and the console reaching for the puppy,” Timmons said. “Just as she got back in the car is when they were rear-ended. At the time, none of them were seat-belted in.”

The impact knocked the parked vehicle into the left-hand side of the eastbound direction of US 90.

They were rear-ended by Corliss D. Viator, 61, of Liberty who law enforcement officials said had been looking at her phone prior to the accident.

The impact of the crash took the life of front seat passenger and Basco’s third cousin Cynthia Elizabeth Phillips, 52, of Sugar Land, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Basco and 4-year-old Emma, who was caught between the console and the front seat, were airlifted by Life Flight to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.

Her mom was unresponsive when she was arrived at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.

“She never really regained consciousness,” Timmons said.

Timmons said the force of the collision put her mother in shock triage the first day in the hospital. The following day she was moved to neurology to monitor for some sort of brain response.

“The doctors thought the pressure in her brain was going to kill her,” she said.

They were able to stop the bleeding, but she sustained severe damage to the left-side of her brain which prevented her from responding or speaking.

“The impact caused her brain to shift to the left side,” Timmons said.

She also sustained two broken vertebrae and two broken ribs, Timmons said.

Her family was called in from around the area and in Illinois to make a trip to her hospital bedside.

On Wednesday, the doctors told her that her mother had made some progress but was not out of the woods.

“They told us that she was only responsive to pain. She would only open her eyes when the doctors were examining her and causing her pain,” the daughter said.

By late Thursday afternoon, the family was forced to make the tough decision of taking their mom off life support.

The doctors also delivered the shocking news that in the course of their examination, they discovered that Basco was suffering from Stage 4 cancer.

“She hadn’t told any of us about that,” her daughter said as she fought back tears.

“When we took her off life support, her eyes stayed open the whole time,” Ashley said. “She was able to move her eyes from person to person, whoever she wanted to look at,” she said.

It was as if she was trying to talk to them through her eyes and tell them it was okay.

Timmons stayed by her side until she passed away at 7:20 p.m.

Her mom had to undergo an extensive autopsy by the Medical Examiner.

She’s unable to have an open casket funeral because of the severe damage done from the accident and following the autopsy.

Her niece, Emma, had a broken femur and is now home recuperating in a full body cast from her left leg up.

Timmons had gone to her mother’s apartment to gather some of her belongings and was comforted by many of the residents who knew her mom well.

“They came up to me crying and telling me how much they would miss my mom,” she said.

Timmons talked of fonder times when her mom would visit her and spend time with the grandchildren.

“She was always a giver,” Timmons said. “She loved her grandchildren so much,” she said.

Basco leaves behind three children and 11 grandchildren.

To date, Viator has not been charged but the investigation continues.

dtaylor@hcnonline.com