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TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY – June 29, 2023 Van Zandt County Fatal Crash

Number of Vehicles in Crash:  2           Number of Injured: 0                  Number Killed: 1

Date & Time: 6/29/2023 at 2:10 PM.

County: Van Zandt.

Location: State Highway 64, 12 miles east of Ben Wheeler, Texas.

Posted Speed Limit: 70 mph.

Weather Condition: Clear.

Road Conditions: Dry.

Vehicle 1: 1994 Nissan XE

Driver 1:Deceased

Patsy Hall Franklin, female, 82 YOA from Ben Wheeler, Texas.

Seatbelt: No.

Pronounced By:  Justice of the Peace Scott Shinn, Pct 4, on scene.

Vehicle 2:  2023 Dodge Ram 2500 Pickup towing a trailer

Driver 2:

Russell Tyler Ahrens, male, 34 YOA from Ben Wheeler, Texas.

Seatbelt:  Yes.

No injuries were reported.


Passenger 2:

Sydney Camille Bradshaw, female, 17 YOA from Tyler, Texas.

Seatbelt:  Yes.

No injuries were reported.


Preliminary investigation indicates Vehicle 1 was traveling west on SH 64 behind Vehicle 2, which was towing a trailer. Vehicle 1 struck the rear of the trailer as Vehicle 2 was slowing to make a left turn onto VZCR 4813. This investigation is ongoing, and no additional information is available.

Investigated By: Trooper J. Zaragoza- DPS Canton

A preliminary crash report will be available for purchase online in 10 days.



Sergeant Christopher Williamson

Texas Department of Public Safety

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