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At 6:26 p.m. on Tuesday, Paris Police received a report of an injury accident at the intersection of FM 1497 and SE Loop 286.
Preliminary investigation indicates a 2007 Nissan Maxima 4 door passenger car driven by Latisha E. Hearne 21, of Dallas was southbound on FM 1497 at the crossover intersection stopped. A 2012 Freightliner truck tractor semi-trailer, driven by Brian Lile of Chickasha, Oklahoma was eastbound on the SE Loop approaching the intersection of FM 1497.
Witnesses to the crash indicate the Nissan started into the intersection of the eastbound lanes of the Loop and was struck by the Freightliner in the passenger side rear door and quarter panel. The Nissan was knocked into the grassy area SE of the intersection and the Freightliner stopped in a short distance on the shoulder of the road.
The driver of the Nissan, Ms. Hearne and the front passenger Zeonbia Winbush, 19 were transported by Paris EMS to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Rear passenger Aubrey Butts, 20 was transported by Paris EMS to the hospital where she was pronounced deceased. Another passenger in the rear seat, Devon Oliver, 21 was pronounced deceased at the scene by responding JP Gene Hobbs. The driver of the Freightliner was not injured.
The four young women in the Nissan were student members of the Texas A&M, Commerce Women’s Basketball program who had just completed coaching in a basketball camp held at Paris High School.
Both drivers submitted samples for alcohol/drug analysis as is common in fatality crash investigations. At the time of this preliminary investigation, impairment of the drivers or speed are not thought to be factors in the crash. Investigation is continuing with no criminal charges filed at this time.
The loop at this intersection is a divided highway with two lanes eastbound and two lanes westbound controlled by stop signs and flashing caution lights. The intersection has been the scene of four fatality crashes since 2000 resulting in five fatalities.