ANGELINA COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – A community in Angelina County is reeling after a deadly accident Thursday afternoon.
A 17-year-old boy is dead and three others severely injured, one of whom is a sheriff’s deputy.
Police say the head-on two-vehicle crash happened about a mile north of Zavalla on U.S. 69.
17-year-old Tyler Duke from Lufkin tried to pass another vehicle in a “no passing zone,” hitting an Angelina County sheriff’s deputy, Lieutenant Stacy Seymore.
“We feel terrible when we go work these crashes, not only because there was a law enforcement officer involved but also these other parties, it affects everybody,” said Sgt. David Hendry, DPS Lufkin district.
Duke was pronounced dead at the scene.
Two of his passengers, 20-year-old Charity Lawson and 16-year-old Faith Lawson, were severely injured.
Charity was life-flighted to a hospital in Conroe and Faith was initially driven to CHI St. Luke’s Hospital before being transferred to Texas Children’s Hospital.
Astonishingly, the one-year-old passenger only had minor injuries.
“They did use a car seat and that baby survived that wreck and it shows how carseats are really helpful in a major crash,” said Sheriff Greg Sanches, Angelina County sheriff.
Lieutenant Seymore broke both his feet and a few ribs.
“He’s pretty upset, you could tell but he’s being tough though,” said Sheriff Sanches. “He made this statement to me ‘Sheriff, it was a hard hit, it was a hard hit’ he kept saying.”
Despite years and years of working various wrecks, to the first responders a crash like this never gets any easier.
“It affects everybody, it affects law enforcement, it affects those family members, extended family, sometimes forever,” said Sgt. Hendry.
“They’re very tragic,” said Sheriff Sanches. “When two cars hit it’s like a major explosion and you got loved ones in it, you got human beings inside that car.”
The condition of the other passengers is unknown as of this time.