MABANK, TX (KTRE) - A former Stephen F. Austin State University football player died Sunday as a result of injuries he suffered in a one-vehicle rollover accident that occurred in Mabank.
Tracy Groom, 52, was traveling westbound on US Highway 175 when his SUV struck an unknown object in the road, and he lost control on the US Highway 198 overpass, according to Mabank Police Chief Brad Shaw.
Shaw said that Groom's vehicle crashed through the guard rail on the overpass, and rolled several times down the embankment before it came to rest in a grassy area next to the service road that runs parallel to that part of Highway 175.
Groom was transported by ambulance to the East Texas Medical Center emergency room in Gun Barrel City for treatment of severe injuries, Shaw said. Groom was then airlifted via helicopter to Parkland Hospital in Dallas.
Shaw said he wasn't sure if Groom died while en route to the Dallas hospital or after he got there.
According to a story that appeared on the "Athens Daily Review" Website, Groom was a 1980 graduate of Mabank High School. The SFA Alumni Association confirmed that Groom graduated from the college in 1987.
Groom played football for the SFA Lumberjacks in 1983 and 1984, and according to the SFA Alumni Association, the team went 7-4 and 7-3-1 respectively in those years. A researcher for the SFA Alumni Association said that the Lumberjacks beat Texas State, the No. 1 team in the nation at that time, twice that season.
The "Athens Daily Review" story stated that Groom returned to Mabank after he graduated from college and was involved in the insurance business for many years.