Two members of the Texas A&M Commerce women's basketball program were killed in an accident in Paris, Texas on Tuesday evening.
Just before 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Paris Police responded to an injury accident at the intersection of FM 1497 and Loop 286 involving a Nissan Maxima and an 18-wheeler. According to the police report, the Maxima, driven by Latisha E. Hearne, 21, of Dallas was southbound on FM 1497 at the crossover intersection. The 18-wheeler, driven by Brian Lile of Chickasha, Oklahoma was eastbound on the Loop approaching the intersection when the Maxima pulled out into the intersection of the eastbound lanes of the Loop. The semi-truck struck the vehicle in the side rear door and panel of the vehicle, knocking the Maxima into a grassy area southeast of the intersection.
Ms. Hearne and the front passenger Zeonbia Winbush, 19, were transported by EMS to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Aubree Butts, 20, passengers in the backseat of the vehicle, was transported to the hospital where she was pronounced deceased. Another passenger in the backseat, Devin Oliver, 21, was pronounced dead 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.
According to authorities, 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.
According to the police report, 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.