Editor's note: This article has been updated to correct information provided to the Herald Democrat about the driver of the vehicle struck by Benjamin Ordaz of Gordonville.
Grayson County grand jurors returned indictments against Benjamin Ordaz of Gordonville for manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide this week.
A written statement from the Sherman Police Department Wednesday said the charges stem from a wreck that happened back on April 2. The indictments are just formal charges and are not an indication of guilt.
Sgt. Brett Mullen previously told the Herald Democrat the wreck occurred at approximately 7:20 p.m. in the eastbound lanes of Hwy. 82, near FM 1417. Mullen said the cause of the crash was under investigation, but a small Kia SUV, occupied by a 68-year-old female driver and a 71-year-old male passenger, was struck from behind by a red Dodge pickup, also carrying two occupants.
“As a result of the crash, the two occupants of the Kia Sportage were flown via air ambulance for treatment at Dallas-area hospitals,” Mullen said earlier this month. “From the information we have today, it appears both are still in either critical or serious condition.”
The occupants of the red pickup sustained minor injuries and were not transported for medical treatment. Traffic was halted on all lanes of Hwy. 82 for roughly one hour, allowing helicopters to land and transport the crash victims and emergency crews to clear the wreckage.
The department's release Wednesday said the Sportage held driver Janet Surface, 68, from Sherman and her passenger Richard Surface, 71, also of Sherman.
“The other parties involved sustained only minor injuries and were released at the scene,” the statement said.
The SPD's Critical Accident Investigation Team started investigating the collision to determine the cause and whether any criminal charges were warranted.
“During the investigation, it was determined that excessive speed and recklessness were the factors causing the crash,” the statement said.
Two days after the crash, SPD was notified that Janet Surface had died as a result of the injuries sustained in the crash and two days after that, SPD found out that Richard Surface had also died.
“Upon notification of Mrs. Surface's death, the ongoing investigation was labeled as Manslaughter,” the release said.
The investigation is still active and ongoing.