PARIS, TX-- Police have identified the victims of a car accident Tuesday evening that left two dead and another two injured as players on the Texas A&M Commerce women's basketball team.
Paris Police Chief Bob Hundley says, just before 6:30 P.M. a car, carrying four young women, was traveling southbound on FM 1497. Hundley says the car stopped in the middle of the intersection, and then pulled out in front of the 18-wheeler that was headed eastbound on Loop 286.
In a release Wednesday morning, Hundley said preliminary investigation indicates a 2007 Nissan Maxima 4 door passenger car driven by Latisha E. Hearne 21, of Dallas was southbound on FM 1497 at the crossover intersection stopped. A 2012 Freightliner truck tractor semi-trailer, driven by Brian Lile of Chickasha, Oklahoma was eastbound on the SE Loop approaching the intersection of FM 1497. Witnesses to the crash indicate the Nissan started into the intersection of the eastbound lanes of the Loop and was struck by the Freightliner in the passenger side rear door and quarter panel. The Nissan was knocked into the grassy area SE of the intersection and the Freightliner stopped in a short distance on the shoulder of the road.
According to police, the driver of the Nissan, Ms. Hearne, and the front passenger Zeonbia Winbush, 19 were transported by Paris EMS to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Rear passenger Aubrey Butts, 20 was transported by Paris EMS to the hospital where she was pronounced deceased. Another passenger in the rear seat, Devon Oliver, 21 was pronounced deceased at the scene by responding JP Gene Hobbs. The driver of the Freightliner was not injured.
"Both drivers submitted samples for alcohol/drug analysis, as is common in fatality crash investigations. At the time of this preliminary investigation, impairment of the drivers or speed are not thought to be factors in the crash. Investigation is continuing with no criminal charges filed at this time," Hundley said.
Many residents say this intersection is one of the most dangerous in the city. It was just eight months ago that a Paris paramedic was killed in a crash at this same site. TXDOT is continuing to study this intersection to find ways to improve safety at the location.
"The loop at this intersection is a divided highway with two lanes eastbound and two lanes westbound controlled by stop signs and flashing caution lights. The intersection has been the scene of four fatality crashes since 2000 resulting in five fatalities," Hundley said in the release.
We'll have more on this later today on News 12.