Local News

Teen driver that killed 3 in Van Zandt Co. crash charged with manslaughter

VAN ZANDT COUNTY, Texas (KETK) - A teen that was passing vehicles in a no-passing zone that killed three people in a crash has now been charged with manslaughter.

On October 30, troopers were called Highway 19 just south of Highway 80, just northwest of the city of Edgewood.

According to DPS, the driver of a truck, identified as Jessie Michael Brown, 19, of Fruitvale, started passing vehicles in a non passing zone and hit another truck head-on.

According to judicial records, Brown has now been charged with three counts of manslaughter and one charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Each charge holds a $10,000 bond.

The driver of the other truck, Connie Wells, 61, of Wills Point, and two young male passengers were all pronounced dead at the scene.

The juveniles killed were identified as 14-year-old Adam Thomas Tuma and 11-year-old Elijah William Gabriel Tuma, both of Wills Point.

Another child, a 12-year-old girl, was airlifted in critical condition to Cooks Childrens Hospital in Dallas.

Brown and his 16-year-old male passenger were taken to a Tyler hospital in stable condition.

Both north and southbound lanes of traffic were blocked as emergency personnel worked the scene.

The preliminary crash report from DPS indicates all victims were wearing seatbelts.

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