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TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY – Anderson County fatal crash on January 27, 2024

Number of Vehicles in Crash: 3            Number of Injured: 5                    Number Killed: 1

Date & Time: January 27, 2024, at 6:18 pm.

County: Anderson

Location: US Highway 287, .08 miles south of Elkhart, TX.

Posted Speed Limit: 70 MPH.

Road Condition: Dry.

 

Vehicle 1: 1996 Chevrolet Silverado Pickup.

Driver 1:

Brian Scruggs, 21 YOA, of Elkhart, TX.

Seatbelt: Yes

Transported to Palestine Regional Medical Center Palestine, TX

Vehicle 2: 2018 Honda Accord.

Driver 2:

Canette Fry, 48 YOA of Palestine, TX

Seatbelt: Yes

Transported to Palestine Regional Medical Center Palestine, TX

Passenger:

Tyler Elkhatib, 18 YOA of Palestine, TX

Seatbelt: Yes

Transported to Palestine Regional Medical Center Palestine, TX

Vehicle 3:  2007 Ford Taurus.

Driver 3:

Justin Benton, 23 YOA of Elkhart, TX

Seatbelt: No

Transported to Christus Mother Francis Hospital Tyler, TX

Passenger: Deceased

Mary Merlino, 22 YOA of Mineola, TX

Seatbelt: Yes

Pronounced by:  J.P Gary Thomas on scene.

Passenger:

Isabelle Benton, 1 YOA of Elkhart, TX

Seatbelt: Yes

Transported to Palestine Regional Medical Center Palestine, TX

 

Description: Preliminary investigation indicates Vehicle 2 was traveling south on US 287.   Vehicle 1 was traveling south on US 287 behind Vehicle 2. Vehicle 3 was traveling north on US 287. Vehicle 1 struck the rear of Vehicle 2, causing Vehicle 2 to travel into the northbound lane of US 287. Vehicle 2 struck Vehicle 3 head-on. Vehicle 1 driver overcorrected after contact with Vehicle 2, crossing over the northbound lanes into the median and struck a tree. This investigation is ongoing, and no additional information is available.

 

Investigated by: Trooper J. Spraggins, DPS – Palestine.

 

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

https://cris.dot.state.tx.us/public/Purchase/CrashReportSearch.htm           

 

 

Chris Williamson, Sergeant

Texas Department of Public Safety

Safety Education / Media & Communications

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