Three killed in Highway 19 crash
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Aug. 18, 2004 -- Three people died Wednesday morning after their car collided with an 18-wheeler Wednesday morning on State Highway 19 just south of Sulphur Springs.

Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Yvonne King pronounced Jennifer Nicole Turner, 23, of Abiline and her sister, 20-year-old Sabrina Turner Coffman of Sulphur Springs, dead at the scene at 8:55 a.m. Wednesday. Coffman's husband, 24-year-old Adam Coffman, was pronounced dead at Hopkins County Memorial Hospital by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Ronny Glossup at 9:25 a.m. Wednesday.

The couple had been married about three weeks, family members said.

Dispatchers were notified just before 8:30 a.m. Wednesday that a car and 18-wheeler had wrecked two miles south of Pilot Travel Center on State Highway 19, blocking the southbound lane of traffic and apparently trapping the occupants of the car inside.

State troopers Cary Barnett, Ray Ragan and Cody Sanders responded, with Barnett acting as lead investigator. Hopkins County Sheriff's Cpl. Michele Peek directed traffic around the wreckage on the one unblocked lane, and Hopkins County and Arbala firefighters used rescue tools to cut the passenger door and top off the car.

Officers at the scene were met by the two motorists who were passing Coffman's vehicle on the shoulder of the road at the time of the accident.

According to the witnesses, the Ford Escort had apparently slowed in order to turn left across the road into a driveway. The two witnesses, along with the driver of the 18-wheeler, told Barnett they believed Coffman was stopping in order to let the Peterbilt pass before attempting the turn. However, the Escort, instead of coming to a stop, began turning left in front of the truck. The driver of the Oakley truck out of Little Rock, Ark., said he was unable to avoid striking the car.

The front right of the Peterbilt truck collided with the passenger door of the Ford Escort, pushing the entire passenger compartment of the car into the driver's compartment. Sabrina Coffman, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, was pushed into the driver's seat, trapping her against her husband. Turner was trapped in the backseat. Both women were believed to have died on impact. Adam Coffman was cut out of the car by firefighters, but died at the hospital within an hour of the accident.

Adam and Jennifer Coffman had reportedly just moved to Sulphur Springs over the weekend, and had traveled only about a mile from their new residence when the wreck occurred.

Following standard procedure, the driver of the truck was required to provide a blood sample for analysis and an autopsy was ordered for Adam Coffman, to determine if any outside factors or medical issues may have contributed to the wreck.

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