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Home News-Telegram News Cause of fatal I-30 crash Sunday being studied

Cause of fatal I-30 crash Sunday being studied

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A 72-year-old Katy man died Sunday night as a result of a collision between his Chevrolet Traverse and an 18-wheeler on Interstate 30 in Sulphur Springs.

Richard G. Engebretson was pronounced dead at the scene at 9:30 p.m. Sunday. West Oaks Funeral Home transported his body to the Dallas County medical examiner’s office for an autopsy, according to police reports.

Sulphur Springs firefighters and police, sheriff’s deputies, state troopers and Hopkins County Emergency Medical Services personnel were dispatched at 9:12 p.m. to I-30, just east of the 124 mile marker.

The crash is still under investigation, according to Sulphur Springs Police Capt. Jay Sanderson.

According to initial crash reports, Engebretson was traveling east on I-30 approaching the Broadway Street exit in the Traverse. Carlos G. Templeton, 59, was driving a white volvo hauling a white utility trailer about 9:10 p.m. Sunday.

The Tri National Inc. truck driver told police he saw brake lights for a vehicle  that appeared to be standing still or barely moving appear suddenly in front of him in the outside lane; it was thought the car had suddenly moved from the passing lane. The truck driver hit the brakes but was unable to avoid striking the Chevy. The impact caused the smaller vehicle to spin, hitting the concrete wall in the turn. The man was wearing a seat belt, but the seat was broken, causing the seat to move back and him to move to the back and side.

A Longview Fire Department paramedic who happened to be traveling along that stretch of road saw the dust, recognized a wreck had occurred and stopped to offer aid. He told officers the man in the Traverse was non-responsive when he arrived. 

Sanders said just based on the wreckage and information obtained at the scene, it’s unclear what caused Engebretson’s death as apparent injuries did not appear to be life-threatening. Thus, an autopsy has been ordered, as is standard in most fatal wrecks.

Officials said it’s also unclear how the man ended up in the outside lane or why he had come to a sudden stop or almost stop in the middle of the road. It appeared the Chevrolet Traverse had changed lanes from the inside to the outside quickly then stopped or suddenly slowed to a crawl. However, police did note that the gas gauge indicated less than an eighth of a tank of gas in the car. Since the wreck occurred near the exit, officials believe Engebretson may have made the move at the last minute in order to get off at the exit for gas.

 

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