TYLER COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - The Department of Public Safety responded to a two vehicle crash on U.S. 69 in Tyler County, about 4 miles south of Woodville at 6:15 a.m. Saturday. According to DPS, the crash killed both drivers.
DPS released the following statement:
A 2013 Toyota passenger vehicle was traveling southbound on US 69. A 2015 KIA passenger vehicle was traveling northbound on US 69. The driver of the Toyota crossed the center stripe and traveled into the northbound traffic lane. It appears that the driver of the KIA steered to the left to avoid colliding with the Toyota, just as the driver of the Toyota steered her vehicle back into the southbound traffic lane. These simultaneous actions by both drivers caused the vehicles to collide in the middle of the roadway. According to witnesses, the driver of the Toyota crossed the center dividing line several times before the collision occurred.
The driver of the Toyota, Jarea Rene Coker (57) of Warren, Texas, was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Trisher Ford. The driver of the KIA, Chris Denise Walton (39) of Warren, Texas, was also pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Trisher Ford. The front passenger of the KIA, Taressa Walton (18) of Warren, Texas, is being transferred by ambulance from Tyler County hospital in Woodville to Hermann Memorial hospital in Houston. Taressa Walton is listed in critical condition. Taressa is the daughter of Chris Denise Walton.
Troopers suspect that Coker was traveling home from work and fell asleep at the wheel. This is an ongoing investigation and there are no further details at this time.