PARIS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Two young women died and another two young women were hurt in a car crash in Paris on Tuesday night. All four victims were members of the Texas A&M-Commerce woman’s basketball team and had just finished coaching a basketball camp at Paris High School.
The car crash took place shortly before 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the intersection of FM 1497 and Loop 286. According to Chief Bob Hundley, the victims were in a 2007 Nissan Maxima, sitting stopped at the intersection facing southbound. A tractor-trailer truck approached the intersection heading eastbound just as the Nissan began to move forward.
The truck hit the rear passenger side of the Nissan, sending the car into a nearby grassy area.
Two of the women in the Nissan — 21-year-old driver Latisha E. Hearne of Dallas and 19-year-old front passenger Zeonbia Winbush — were both taken to a nearby hospital. They are expected to survive their injuries. But the other rear passengers — 20-year-old Aubrey Butts and 21-year-old Devon Oliver — both died.
“This is an unspeakable tragedy and a loss that is felt by the entire university community,” said Texas A&M University-Commerce president Dr. Dan Jones. “It is made more grievous by the dreams that will not be fulfilled. Our prayers go out to the loved ones of those we have lost.”
“We are saddened and heartbroken by the recent events, by our time being cut short with two great people who were full of life and Lion spirit,” added university athletic director Ryan Ivey.
A candlelight ceremony has been planned for the victims at Rachel’s Garden at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday night. Attendees are asked to wear blue and gold.
The truck driver — identified as Brian Lile of Chickasha, Oklahoma — was not injured.
Neither driver impairment nor speed are thought to be factors in this incident. The car crash remains under investigation. No charges have been filed at this time.
This same intersection has been the scene of four fatality crashes since 2000, resulting in five deaths, Hundley said. Traffic is controlled by stop signs and flashing caution lights.
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