Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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January 4, 2011

Cayuga student dies in wreck

TENNESSEE COLONY — A 17-year-old Cayuga High School student was killed in a single-vehicle wreck on New Year’s Eve near Tennessee Colony.

Authorities say Brandon Heath Miller, 17, a junior at Cayuga High School, died at the scene of the crash which occurred at 10:43 p.m. Friday on FM 2054, approximately 2 miles southwest of Tennessee Colony.

Miller was pronounced dead at the scene by Anderson County Justice of the Peace James Todd.

An autopsy has been ordered and will be performed at Southeast Texas Forensic Science Center in Tyler.

Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Jack Hallock investigated the single-vehicle fatality.

“Unit One was traveling north (in a 1999 Jeep Cherokee) on FM 2054 and was unable to negotiate a slight curve to the left and left the roadway,” Hallock said. “Unit One drove north through the unimproved grassy part of the highway, went across County Road 2802 and then struck a large metal post and chain link fence where the vehicle came to rest and caught on fire.”

Hallock said Miller was the lone occupant in his vehicle.

The trooper added there was nothing to indicate alcohol played a role in the wreck.

Miller, a member of Cayuga High School’s football team, was recently selected to the first-team defense of the Herald-Press’ 2010 All-Dogwood Circle team.

Cayuga head football coach Greg Jenkins recalled Miller’s love of the sport.

“I think anybody, the first thing you think about Brandon, anybody that knew him...he was a football player,” Jenkins said. “That’s what he loved to do. He couldn’t wait for Friday nights.”

Jenkins said Miller “was as real and genuine as any kid I’ve ever coached.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family,” the coach continued. “Having seen them today (Saturday), it’s tough.”

Funeral arrangements for Miller are pending.

School officials said that Monday’s Slocum-Cayuga basketball game at Tyler Junior College’s Wagstaff Gym is expected to be played as scheduled.

 ————

Sports editor Justin Rains contributed to this story.

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