CRANDALL (CBSDFW.COM) – Friends and co-workers have identified the 21-year-old man who was killed by the wrong-way driver as 21-year-old Juan Coreas of Kaufman.
Coreas was headed back to Kaufman with friends from the Wings restaurant in Seagoville, where he worked for the past year and a half.
The 21-year-old was driving behind some of his friends on Highway 175 when they swerved to avoid the wrong-way driver.
Investigators say Coreas likely didn’t have time to do the same.
“It’s just unfortunate that something like this happened to someone so young and very ambitious as he was and loved by everyone,” said Rodney Spencer, owner of the Wings restaurant.
The accident happened around midnight on US Highway 175, near County Road 4106 in Crandall.
Someone placed a 911 call to Kaufman police, reporting a reckless driver, going the wrong-way.
Police headed to the area, and saw the driver of a Cadillac Escalade going west in the eastbound lanes. Officers were trying to get the person off the road, but couldn’t stop the SUV before it slammed into an approaching vehicle.
Both vehicles went up in flames on impact.
A woman who saw the fire and stopped said people up and down the highway were pulling over, trying to help, but were unable to save either driver.
“I seen the two cars coming through, we were coming back from Dallas, and the two cars were coming back,” explained witness Shedairia Hogg. “I didn’t see the accident. I saw the big boom and the flames… it just went real big! That’s all I saw. I couldn’t see anything else. The flames came up and all the cars were trying to turn around and see what was going on.”
Both directions of the highway were closed for a time, as first responders worked the scene.
The westbound lanes of the highway were later reopened, but eastbound lanes remain closed.
No word on the identity of the wrong way driver, but police say the innocent victim was a 21-year-old man. “It’s sad to see everything happen like that. My heart goes out to that family so bad,” Hogg said. “The lady came back and she was crying and everything. We gave her a hug and everything. I prayed for that family… because it could have been anybody, anybody’s family.”
According to authorities and witnesses, the young man was following his friends and family when the wrong-way driver crashed into him.
Crandall police say they have the lead in the investigation, but are getting help from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
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