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BLOWN TIRE LEADS TO ACCIDENT THAT KILLS EIGHT IN TEXAS

A pickup truck blew a tire and smashed head on into another pickup crowded with women and children returning from a religious revival, killing all eight people in the two vehicles.

Thelma Rodriguez Vasquez and six of her female relatives were heading home from the weekly prayer meeting Thursday night on a remote stretch of highway just northeast of this ranching town, about 55 miles east of Laredo.

"This should never have happened. It was just a freak accident," said Sheriff Gilberto Ybanez.

Hugo Rafael Gutierrez may have been speeding when the tire blew on his truck, sending it into the path of Mrs. Vasquez.

Mrs. Vasquez's husband, Priliciano Vasquez, was driving in a separate car ahead of the women when he noticed flames in his rearview mirror. He, a minister and others watched the women burn to death, unable to come to their aid. "When I got there, he was just standing there with big eyes, crying," Ybanez said. "He saw me and he hugged me. I didn't want him to get too close (to the wreck). It was something you don't want to see."

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