Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

January 16, 2009

Teen dies in GBC wreck

GUN BARREL CITY — One lake area teenager was killed and another seriously injured in a violent crash Thursday night just off Legendary Lane.

Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace Dale Blaylock pronounced 18-year-old Eric Branch of Gun Barrel City dead at the scene and ordered the body sent to Dallas for autopsy.

Police were dispatched to the site at 9:25 p.m. Thursday.

Nineteen-year-old Dylan Whitten was listed in serious condition Friday afternoon in the ICU unit at East Texas Medical Center Tyler.

According to GBC police reports, Branch was a passenger in a 1997 Dodge driven by Whitten, who police said is not licensed to drive.

Officers at the scene said the car was traveling at a high rate of speed when Whitten lost control of the vehicle.

The southbound car hit a telephone post just off Legendary Lane, then reportedly traveled 142 feet in the air. The car then continued south before going through a chain-link fence.

The vehicle came to rest only after striking a tree “dead center” in the back yard of a residence at 102 Ford Circle in the Mantle Manor subdivision, according to the reports.

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