Woman indicted in double fatality

January 12, 2013

One of the drivers involved in a three-vehicle crash in early November that resulted in two deaths was arrested last Saturday at her home in Hood County and charged with a state jail felony count of criminally negligent homicide.

Andrea Hope McNeill, 38, of the 5400 block of Lake View Drive in the Arrowhead Shores subdivision northwest of Granbury, was indicted by the Hood County grand jury on Jan. 2 in connection with the Nov. 7 crash on Tin Top Highway (FM 2580) about a mile north of Thorp Spring.

The indictment states that the criminal negligence was due to “attempting to pass another vehicle in a marked no passing zone,” causing the deaths of Sharon Cantu-Morgan and John Marshall McNeill. It also states that, during the commission of the felony, Andrea McNeill used or exhibited a “deadly weapon, to wit: an automobile, that in the manner of its use or intended use was capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.”

John McNeill, 31, Andrea McNeill’s brother, was pronounced dead on the scene by Justice of the Peace Danny Tuggle following the crash, which occurred at 9:35 p.m.

Cantu-Morgan, 21, of Highview Court in the Rancho Brazos subdivision southeast of Granbury, was transported to John Peter Smith (JPS) Hospital in Fort Worth by air ambulance for treatment of a brain injury and multiple bone fractures. At that time, she was listed in critical condition. Family members elected to keep updates on her medical condition confidential, according to a JPS spokesperson, so no more information was available after that point.

As of Thursday, Andrea McNeill remained in the Somervell County Jail, which houses Hood County’s female inmates. Her bond amount had not yet been set by Judge Ralph Walton.

A conviction on a state jail felony charge carries a maximum penalty of two years in state jail, and could range as low as probation.

Frank Morgan, stepfather of Sharon Cantu-Morgan, called the Hood County News and said Cantu-Morgan left behind two young sons, ages 2 and 3, who now live with their father in Wymer. Morgan said he thinks the possible punishment won’t be adequate.

“We’re not satisfied with that, no. I’m not,” said Morgan, who lives with his wife, Cantu-Morgan’s mother Benita, in Weatherford.

Cantu-Morgan, who worked for a home health care agency, was pronounced dead at 3:13 p.m. on Nov. 13 in the JPS surgical intensive care unit, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s website. Her cause of death was listed as multiple traumatic injuries.

The crash was investigated by DPS troopers. McNeill was arrested on a warrant by a deputy from the Hood County Sheriff’s Office just before 4 p.m. on Jan. 5.

Cantu-Morgan was a passenger in a 2005 Nissan four-door car driven by her sister Jennifer Cantu, who lived with her. The third vehicle, a 2007 Chevrolet pickup, was driven by Jose Sandoval of Granbury.

Andrea McNeill’s daughter Harley McNeill, who was 13 at the time of the crash, was another passenger in McNeill’s 2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser. Both Andrea McNeill and Harley McNeill had been listed in good condition and also treated for their injuries at JPS, and later released to go home.

Neither Sandoval nor Jennifer Cantu were listed on the DPS report as being injured.

The DPS report states that the PT Cruiser and the Chevy pickup were northbound on Tin Top Highway, while the Nissan was southbound. The PT Cruiser, driven by Andrea McNeill, attempted to pass the pickup and struck the Nissan in a head-on collision.

The report continues, “The rear of (the Nissan) swung into the northbound lane from the impact,” and the pickup “struck (the Nissan) in the left rear.”

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