Man pulled from burning truck
Police say cars were racing; one flees scene

Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor

Feb. 27, 2004 -- Police say a race between two Ford Mustangs ended when one of the cars struck a pickup and the two vehicles erupted in flames just after 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Police Chief Jim Bayuk said witness statements indicated two vehicles were speeding south in the 1700 block of South Broadway when the pickup, reportedly driven by a Cumby man, pulled onto Broadway from the Lowe's parking lot.

A dark green Mustang in the right hand lane managed to avoid colliding with the pickup, but a red Mustang in the left lane struck the pickup just behind the driver's door, and the two vehicles burst into flames. The other Mustang reportedly fled from the scene.

Bayuk said witnesses at the scene told police the two cars were racing.

"A vehicle was pulling out of Lowe's parking lot, and one of the vehicles left 132 feet of skid marks and struck the truck and the truck caught fire."

One of the witnesses, according to reports, ran to the wreckage and was able to pull the driver from the burning pickup, but not before he received serious burns.

"The driver sustained severe burns, a head injury and hip injury, according to paramedics at the scene," Bayuk said.

Police reports list the driver of the pickup as Howard Milton Tirrell, 42, of Cumby, and state he was transported by Hopkins County EMS from the accident scene.

Tirrell was taken to the emergency room at Hopkins County Memorial Hospital, then transferred to the burn unit at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. He remained there early in the week while undergoing treatment for his burns and for a head injury.

The driver of the Mustang that crashed at the scene was identified as William Boles, 27, of Sulphur Springs. He was not injured.

"The driver that caused the wreck, that hit the truck, was identified and officers worked up an accident and an offense report against him for reckless driving," Bayuk said.

Chief Bayuk asked that anyone having any information about the vehicle that fled the scene of the accident to contact the police department.

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