Local man killed in crash on SH 154
Investigators believe fatigue was cause of accident

Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

April 29, 2005 - A 25-year-old Sulphur Springs man died Monday morning after his vehicle collided with a bucket truck on State Highway 154 south between Quitman and Lake Fork. Sleep deprivation is being ruled as the major contributing factor in the accident.

Jody Lane Mitchell was ejected from his vehicle and thought to have died on impact. The driver of the utility truck, William Carlton of Prairieville, La., was taken to East Texas Medical Center in Tyler for treatment of leg and foot injuries, according to State Trooper Joseph Hogue.

Mitchell reportedly was traveling on SH 154 from Quitman when his vehicle crossed the center line of the highway, where a commercial truck with a bucket on it was traveling the opposite direction. Carlton took evasive action, veering to the right and going partially off the road before Mitchell's vehicle impacted his truck.

"The driver of the passenger vehicle was ejected," Hogue said. "He was deceased on [officer] arrival at the scene."

All indications showed that Mitchell fell asleep at the wheel and likely never knew the accident occurred. State troopers learned that Mitchell had "had a busy weekend, then went to work at 5 yesterday in Hawkins and got off at 6 this morning," Hogue said Monday afternoon.

"We believe he fell asleep ... and veered to the left," Hogue said. "It was an unfortunate accident. There was no indication alcohol was used. All the information indicated fatigue."

Carlton remained in ETMC in Tyler where he was being treated for foot and leg injuries Monday evening, according to Hogue.

Older Archives

Looking for News-Telegram Sports and News Archives for January 2004 - November 2008