Rain Slick Road Contributes to Fatal Crash
Highway 77, south of Lexington, about four miles north of Highway 21, was the scene of a fatal crash last Wednesday, that took the life of 25 year old Robert Martin Zoch, IV. Wet pavement was mentioned in the DPS accident report as one cause for the accident.
According to the report, Zoch was driving southbound on Hwy. 77 in the outside lane, passing another vehicle, when he hydroplaned due to the wet roads. He apparently crossed the center stripe into the northbound lanes and struck a 2013 Peterbilt 18 wheeler, with a tanker in tow, driven by Michael Richard Caraway, 52 of New Braunfels, Texas.
Once Zoch crossed the center stripe, he struck Caraway in the front with the right side of his vehicle, a 2006 Honda Civic. The DPS report said the impact caused the Honda to split in half, with the back half coming to rest in the inside southbound lane and the front half lodged under the front cab of the Peterbilt. Both the 18 wheeler and the front of the Honda traveled off the road into the east ditch, striking a fence before coming to rest, facing northeast.
Trooper Robert Thorp investigated the accident. He indicates that Zoch may have been traveling at an unsafe speed, contributing to the crash.
Highway 77 was closed to all traffic for several hours last Wednesday, while officers investigated the crash. He was assisted by Lee County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Lapham, Deputy Carvin, Deputy Crockett and Deputy Ledenbach, along with Lexington Chief of Police Clarence Yarbrough. Zoch was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Precinct 3, Candace Walch.
A funeral was held for Robert last Friday, at St. John Lutheran Church in Lincoln. A complete obituary can be found in today’s paper.