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A three-day series that analyzed causes of death for 266 Texas veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. The six-month investigation uncovered previously unknown information, pulling data from a variety of federal, state and local sources. The series, which also depended on extensive interviews with family members and fellow service members, revealed the startling number of Texas veterans dying of prescription drug overdoses, suicides and motor vehicle crashes. The newspaper's analysis was hailed by epidemiologists and former Department of Veterans Affairs researchers as an important step in understanding veteran mortality, and led to calls for better government tracking of how veterans are dying.
According to the author, "The series analyzed fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in which at least one driver was between the ages of 14 and 19. Among the major findings: Speeding contributed to more than half of the wrecks. More than two-thirds of people killed in cars driven by teens were not wearing seat belts. More than half of the wrecks were single-vehicle crashes. More than three-quarters of the crashes involved sober drivers."