The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local News

October 8, 2008

Elkhart man killed in head on collision

PALESTINE — A 33-year-old Elkhart man died late Tuesday afternoon when his pickup truck traveled into oncoming traffic and was struck by a second vehicle on U.S. 287 in extreme southern Anderson County.

James Allen Clark, 33, of Elkhart was killed in the two-vehicle, head-on collision which occurred at 4:18 p.m. Tuesday on U.S. 287, approximately 6 miles south of Elkhart, near the Houston County line, according to Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Damian Conner.

Clark was pronounced dead at the scene by Anderson County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Gary Thomas. An autopsy and toxicology report has been ordered and will be performed at Southeast Texas Forensic Science Center in Tyler.

The driver of the second vehicle, Alicia Branson, 37, of Palestine, was careflighted to East Texas Medical Center in Tyler with non-life threatening injuries.

“She had some type of leg fracture,” Conner told the Herald-Press. “Her injuries were substantial, but not life threatening.”

The trooper said Clark was traveling southbound in a 1991 Chevrolet S-10 pickup on U.S. 287, while Branson was traveling northbound on the same highway in a 2006 Chevrolet Colorado pickup shortly before the accident.

“Clark’s vehicle traveled into oncoming traffic into the northbound lane and the two units collided after Unit Two (Branson’s vehicle) was unable to avoid the collision,” Conner said.

There were no passengers in either vehicle.

The trooper said the circumstances which led Clark to travel into the wrong lane of traffic remained under investigation.

Clark had been involved in an earlier motor vehicle collision around 8 a.m. Tuesday when he reportedly pulled a van out in front of a tractor/trailer inside the Elkhart city limits. He was treated and released for minor injuries at Palestine Regional Medical Center.

Conner said he did not investigate the earlier accident, but was aware that it had occurred.

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Paul Stone may be contacted via e-mail at pstone@palestineherald.com

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