Both drivers taken to local hospital, accident under investigation

Christopher Maher, Jim Wells County Correspondent

A Jim Wells County Sheriff's deputy responding to an emergency call collided with another vehicle on Highway 359 Thursday, sending the deputy and the driver of the second vehicle to a local hospital.

Department of Public Safety troopers at the scene said the accident occurred shortly after 4 p.m. Thursday at the intersection of Highway 359 and County Road 211.

According to reports, a white Jeep Cherokee was traveling northbound on Highway 359, when the driver of the vehicle slowed and signaled a left hand turn, with the intent to turn westbound onto County Road 211.

A Jim Wells County Sheriff's Department patrol car, responding to an emergency call in Orange Grove, approached the Jeep from the rear and attempted to pass the vehicle on the left hand side.

As the Jeep made the left-hand turn, the left front bumper of the Jeep Cherokee collided with the right side of the patrol car, causing the sheriff's department vehicle to leave the roadway to the left, ending in a ditch filled with more than two feet of water.

The driver of the Jeep Cherokee was identified as Heather Bedgood, 19, of Corpus Christi; and the deputy was identified as Salvador Garza, 31.

Both were transported by ambulance to CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Alice with non-life threatening injuries, troopers said.

No citations were issued to either of the drivers Thursday, but troopers said the accident is still under investigation.