Cantu, of Premont, struck an 18-wheeler

Georgia Wingate Thompson, Kleberg County Correspondent

Kingsville - An autopsy and toxicology report is pending on a Premont teen who died in an accident May 31 after colliding his vehicle with an 18-wheeler on U.S. Highway 77 and Caesar Avenue, said Kingsville Police Department Officer Eric Perez, accident investigator.

"We are waiting on an autopsy report to see if alcohol was involved," Perez said.

Jaime Cantu, 18, of Premont was driving a 2005 black Chevrolet truck west on Caesar Avenue around 1:30 p.m. on May 31 when he apparently failed to stop at a stationary stop sign and hit a Wal-Mart tractor-trailer that was traveling north on U.S. Highway 77.

"From witnesses and what we can determine, Cantu's truck ran the stop sign and ran into the 18-wheeler's fuel tanks," Perez said. "From what we can determine, they had gone down the Caesar Avenue, turned around and drove back. They were not coming from Naval Air Station-Kingsville."

He said Cantu and a rear seat passenger, 22-year-old Jeanette Salinas of Falfurrias, were both ejected from the vehicle, and from reports were not wearing seat belts. Cantu was dead at the scene and Salinas was taken by HALO-flight to a Corpus Christi hospital, he said.

A third passenger in the Chevy truck, Janessa Salinas, 17 of Falfurrias and sister of Jeanette Salinas, seated in the front seat, was wearing a seat belt, Perez said.

"The driver of the 18-wheeler, David Kriegel, 56, of Rockwood, was not hurt in the accident," Perez said.

The accident is still under investigation.