Crash Team Investigators Look for Answers in Teen Deaths

Department of Public Safety investigators were on the site this morning where two teenage girls were killed in a car crash involving a Wichita Falls police officer last week. They have temporarily reopened the accident scene to traffic, but plan to close it down again tonight for an accident recreation.

Crash team investigators will use GPS equipment to help them accurately map out how the accident took place. The reconstruction team arrived in Wichita Falls last night and reviewed the initial investigation reports.

The DPS team is trying to determine exactly what happened. They are using different points at the crash site to put together a scaled diagram of where the cars were the night of the accident.

Public Information Officer of DPS, Tony Fulton tells Newschannel 6 that the Wichita Falls Police Department has all the technology to do an investigation, but because one of their police officers was involved they called DPS.

18 year old Yeni Lopez and 13 year old Gloria Montoya were honored during a funeral service Tuesday morning.

Sgt. Joe Snyder, Wichita Falls Police Department Public Information Officer, said the girls died in an officer-involved crash.

The crash happened Thursday evening at Jacksboro Highway and Holliday.

At 9:34 p.m., witnesses called police to report the collision at the intersection of Holliday Road and Jacksboro Highway. First responders found a Pontiac Grand Am on its side and a WFPD K9 vehicle with heavy damage on the front of the vehicle.

Witnesses said the Pontiac had been stopped at a stop sign on Holliday, but entered the intersection in front of the police car. It is not known if the Grand Am was crossing over to 33rd or turning north onto Jacksboro Hwy.

Police said Officer Teddy Whitefield was the officer involved in the crash. He was released from the hospital the next day, treated for a head injury and a fracture in his arm. Officials say the dog, "Ben," is at home recovering with Officer Whitefield.

Whitefield has been with the force since 2004.

As of Friday morning's police brief, there was no indication the officer had his lights or sirens on. Police say officer Whitefield was just on patrol.

Police are not saying where the girls were seated in their vehicle or whether they were wearing seatbelts. Police say they are both from Wichita Falls. Their bodies were sent to Tarrant County for autopsy. Investigators are still waiting for those results.

Both cars are in the custody of the Department of Public Safety as part of a routine investigation.

A parallel but separate investigation is being conducted by WFPD's Office of Professional Conduct.

Count on Newschannel 6 for continuing coverage.