DPS plans to charge driver in Diboll girlfriend's death

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety said Monday that the agency is going to charge the 20-year-old Lufkin man involved in the May 28 fatal wreck on U.S. Highway 69 North with criminally negligent homicide in connection to the death of his girlfriend.

DPS Trooper David Hendry said once the charge is filed against Nolan Ryan Ellingburg, the case will be turned over to the Angelina County District Attorney's Office.

The wreck occurred at the intersection of FM 2021 and Highway 69. Leah Maria McDonald, 18, of Diboll, a passenger in the car that Ellingburg had been driving, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

According to DPS Trooper Chris Stanbery, Ellingburg, who was driving a Toyota four-door car, pulled out from FM 2021 and was hit by a Chevrolet truck driving on US 69 toward Lufkin. The truck rolled on its side once, hitting the passenger side of the car. The driver of the truck was Robert Lee Tarber of Alto.

Tarver and the passenger of the truck were sent to Lufkin's Memorial Hospital. A medical helicopter landed near the scene around 5:30 p.m. to take the driver of the car to ETMC in Tyler.

No citations were given on the scene but Stanbery said at minimum, one would be given to Ellingburg for failure to yield right of way.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

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