DPS performing crash reconstruction on FM 2021 fatality

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - It's a scene that has become all too familiar to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Over the past several weeks, there have been numerous fatalities including one at the intersection of Highway 69 North and FM 2021 where 18 year-old Leah McDonald died after a car driven by her boyfriend Nolan Ellinberg hit a pole.

The accidents have kept a select group of troopers staying busy.

"They go through advance reconstruction classes in accident reconstruction," said DPS Spokesman David Hendry.

Law enforcement on scene are part of a group that reconstruct crash sites.

The troopers are from all over including as far away as Jasper and Beaumont, working together for one reason.

"It's Just to make a good investigation that is thorough and complete. We want to make good investigations and have everything that is necessary to make a good investigation," said Hendry.

The troopers have the tools to do it.

"The equipment we use is very sophisticated and what that movement is them taking various points at the time the crash was investigated," said Hendry.

Troopers investigated the scene at the time of the wreck, but reconstruction of the scene allows for safety.

"At a crash scene, we will mark the items involved in the scene when the conditions are a little safer so we can log and document that information," said Hendry.

It can also change how the wreck is initially understood.

"It could. It affords us the ability to go back to a safe location and be  able to analyze it from that standpoint," said Hendry.

DPS is planning on charging the driver involved, Nolan Ryan Ellingburg, 20, of Lufkin, with criminally negligent homicide.

Ellingburg, who was driving a Toyota four-door car, pulled out from FM 2021 on May 28 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 Tarver of Alto.

As of Wednesday, Ellingburg has not been booked in on the felony charge, according to Angelina County Jail records.

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