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Car Crash Kills 2 Motorists In Tarrant County

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Bud Gillett
Bud is the most veteran reporter at CBS 11 News with 42 years in m...
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Two drivers were killed in a car crash in Tarrant County late on November 23, 2011. (credit: KTVT/KTXA)

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - Rather than Thanksgiving Day cheer, there was a painful and emotional reunion for loved ones at the home of James Harris on Thursday. The 17-year-old was driving home from a grocery store job late Wednesday night when he and another motorist were killed in a car crash.

The collision took place as Harris was driving on the Jacksboro Highway near Azle, in an unincorporated part of Tarrant County. His Ford Mustang was struck nearly head-on by a Toyota Camry that was heading toward Fort Worth. Both drivers died in the crash and the resulting fire. “It was a very tragic scene because both vehicles caught on fire,” explained Terry Grisham with the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office.

“The cars were completely demolished,” added Grisham. The victims were both airlifted to a local hospital, but neither survived.

The other driver was identified as 72-year-old Jake James of Fort Worth. According to his wife, James had gone to comfort a friend who was experiencing some hard times. James moved to the DFW area seven years ago and used the Camry to commute to Tyler once a week, to keep his business as a hair stylist.

Meanwhile, Harris was a high school sophomore who, according to his parents, hoped to be a police officer after he finished school.

A cross now marks the spot where the cars collided, and remnants of the crash rest near the scene. Investigators believe that the Camry crossed the median and hit the Mustang, but why that happened has not yet been determined. The two cars are sitting in a forensic garage while the investigation is being conducted.

The Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office plans to do an accident reconstruction, and will soon determine if alcohol played a role in this tragic incident. “When the report is finalized this week, we’ll know exactly who crossed what barrier, who came into whose lane, and we’ll know exactly what foreign substances – if any – were present,” Grisham said.

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