Athens Review, Athens, Texas

July 9, 2012

Two die in Eustace collision

Art Lawler
The Athens Review

Athens — EUSTACE — A  horrible head-on collision during a heavy rainstorm near the east-side city limits Sunday afternoon, killed two motorists in separate vehicles near the 500 block of U.S. Highway 175  in this community.

Pronounced dead at the scene by Precinct 5 Justice of the Peace Tommy Barnett was 21-year-old college student, Amber Cook, who police say was traveling west after getting off work at a Brookshire's store in Tyler.

She was a resident of Gun Barrel City.  Cook was driving a maroon 2004 Ford Windstar at the time of the crash.

Also pronounced dead in the collision was 70-year-old  Dolphus Brown of LaRue, who was headed east in a 2011  Ford Explorer.

His wife, a passenger in the silver vehicle, was taken to ETMC with what police say appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries.

Both bodies were taken to Southwest Texas Forensics Institute for autopsy.

Because of the heavy rain, and a lack of skid marks to work with, Police Chief Troy W. Tucker said it may be late in the week before authorities can determine exactly how a head-on collision occurred on the five-lane thoroughfare through the city of Eustace.

Tucker said the collision occurred near the 500 block of Cornelius Street and U.S. Highway 175.

The collision was so bad, both lanes of traffic, east and west, had to be shut down until about 8 p.m., Tucker said. 

Extraction equipment from both the Payne Springs and Eustace police and fire departments had to be used to free both victims from their vehicles.

“It's probably the worse automobile accident I've seen during my law-enforcement career,”  Tucker said.

The Texas Department of Public Safety, and the volunteer fire departments from Eustace and Payne Springa assisted with the accident scene.

The accident left workers at the Main Street Bar & Grill in shock Monday.  Amber Cook's mother, Leah, is an employee at the business.