Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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September 30, 2009

Major traffic accident closes US 79

By Jay Neal

news@jacksonvilleprogress.com



NEW SUMMERFIELD — A three-vehicle traffic accident in the 20800 block of U. S. Highway 79 East, inside the city limits of New Summerfield, resulted in two people being transported to an area hospital via emergency-medical helicopters with what appeared to be significant injuries late Wednesday afternoon.

As a result of the mishap, the highway was shut down in both directions for well over an hour, backing traffic up for over a mile.

The crash happened shortly before 5:30 p.m. in the center of the roadway near Marie’s Country Ceramics and Gift Shop.

According to local residents that did not wish to be identified but who raced to the scene seconds after the collision took place, a two-door Ford Broncho was apparently attempting to turn off of Hwy. 79 when it was struck in the left-rear area by the driver of a a four-door Chevrolet Cobalt. A two-door Chevrolet S10 pick-up truck also was involved in the violent collision. Both the sedan and light-duty pickup received extensive damage.

An occupant of both the passenger sedan and the pick-up were air lifted to an undisclosed hospital via two-seperate East Texas Medical Center helicopters.

The male victim inside the small pickup truck, which came to rest in a ditch on the south side of the dry roadway, had to extracted from the truck by emergency-crew members using power tools as a large crowd of local citizens looked on in horror. The process took over a half hour due to the extensive damage to the vehicle.

According to witnesses’ statements at the scene, a female passenger in the pickup was able to walk away from the vehicle under her own power.

No information was available concerning the driver of the Ford Broncho.

The scene was worked by crews from the New Summerfield City Police Department, New Summerfield Fire Department, Gallitin Fire Department, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department, City of Jacksonville Medic No. 2 and Fire Engine No. 2, East Texas Medical Center as well as several first responders.

The exact cause of the accident was unknown at press time.

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