Mount Pleasant morning tragedy on Interstate 30 claims five lives

Tragedy in Mount Pleasant has struck for the second time on the same day exactly one year later when today a series of multi-vehicle Interstate 30 accidents claimed the lives of five people.

According to the Department of Public Safety, the accident occurred just before 8:30 a.m. March 23 when a tractor trailer crashed into a minivan stopped on interstate following an initial accident an hour earlier. Authorities are still investigating what caused the tractor trailer to crash into the minivan forcing that vehicle to in turn hit a stopped 18-wheeler truck in front of it. Two other stopped trucks were also damaged.

A Tennessee truck driver and a mother and her three children, all under age 10, were killed as a result of the second accident. The father of the children, who was driving the minivan, was transported to Christus Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler and is currently listed in stable but critical condition. According to DPS reports, the family of five were from Savoy, Illinois.

The first accident, according to the Mount Pleasant Police Department, happened at 7:18 a.m. when a U-Haul truck hauling a trailer lost control and crashed. No injuries were reported in the first wreck. Three other truck drivers were taken to Titus Regional Medical Center following the chain reaction second accident.  Interstate lanes were shut down for several hours as first responders and law enforcement worked to treat and transport victims before clearing wreck debris.

Ironically, March 23 also marks the one-year anniversary of the tragic Mount Pleasant ISD bus wreck on U.S. Highway 271 that resulted in the death of beloved MPISD coach and teacher Angelica Beard and 47-year old truck driver Bradley Farmer.  Coach Van Bowen, credited for his quick thinking, maneuvered the school bus and arguably helped to save the 30+ lives on board. The students and coaches were returning from a track meet in Paris.