KEMP — High drama unfolded tragically on U.S. Highway 175 late Sunday, ending with two witnesses, who had been desperately trying to help, watching helplessly as a fiery collision left two people dead.

In addition, one adult and four children were severely injured by the impact.

The drivers of the two vehicles were killed in the wreck near County Road 1391 and U.S. 175., near the Texas Highway 274 exit in the city limits of Kemp.

A woman driving a 2001 Kia SUV and traveling alone west on the wrong side of the highway, was extracted from her vehicle, even as her car became engulfed in flames, according to the accident report.

“It’s a tragic accident,” Kemp Police Chief Richard Clemmo said. “We have nothing to indicate that alcohol was involved, but we won’t know the true situation until we hear from the Dallas County Medical Examiners office.”

Clemmo said the 45-year-old Dallas woman was driving in the wrong lane for at least four miles. He said investigators are still trying to determine the cause for the woman being in the wrong lane.

Kaufman County Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Mike Smith pronounced Vernon Ray Hamilton, 41, of Tyler — driver of a 2001 Lincoln Town Cruiser — dead at the scene.

Two adults and four children were in the Lincoln at the time of the wreck.

A motorist — who first called dispatch in Kaufman at 10:56 p.m. — turned around after nearly being struck himself by the woman’s SUV — and he followed the car parallel from the west side of the highway.

While doing so, he kept dispatch informed.

Both the caller and Kemp Police Officer Damon Smith witnessed the crash.

The two vehicles came together in the middle of a rise at 11:02 p.m, according to the Kemp Police Department’s report.

ETMC Gun Barrel City officials pronounced the unidentified woman dead after her arrival. Her identity was being withheld Monday evening, pending further notification of kin.

Smith, at the time of the collision, was trying to get in front of the oncoming car in an attempt to warn her and bring her to a stop.

Police and fire personnel from Kemp and Mabank extracted some of the victims from the Lincoln.

Others were found outside that vehicle.

Three of the children were taken to Children’s Hospital by helicopter.

Another child was taken by ground ambulance to the Parkland Hospital along with the female passenger in the Lincoln.

The Texas Department of Public Safety was also dispatched to the site and assisted the Kemp Police Department in the investigation.

Recommended for you