By Philippe Djegal - email
TYLER, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas teenager is dead tonight after driving off-road and flipping his vehicle in a violent crash. The other passenger is in critical condition at East Texas Medical Center in Tyler.
The driver, 19-year old Luis Aparicio, and his 14-year old cousin Carlos Hernandez were driving east on County Road 46 in Smith County at around 10:30am, when their SUV lost control.
"On a scale of one to 10, I'd have to say this accident was a 10," said Glenn Davenport, a DPS trooper.
The wreckage was scattered across the highway. Traffic stopped as EMS rolled, the passenger, Carlos Hernandez into the ambulance.
"It only takes just a split second of inattention to have an accident," said Mike Turbeville, captain of the Dixie fire department.
Lead investigator, trooper Davenport, says this was one of the worst crashes he's ever seen, because of the "condition of the vehicle and the length of the skid marks, and the distance between the actual run off the road and to where the crash ended."
The driver, Luis Aparicio, was life-flighted to ETMC in Tyler. But, DPS confirms that Aparicio died on route to the hospital.
"Both occupants stayed within the vehicle," said Turbeville. "But, they sustained significant injuries."
"This is a curve," said Davenport. "It appears that an unsafe speed was a factor in this crash."
They were headed east on County Road 46 in Smith County toward Tyler.
The driver then over corrected and landed [the car] on it's tires after flipping over a few times.
"Drugs and alcohol [did] not play [a role] at this time," said Davenport. "We're not ruling it out though."
Neighbors watched on in shock, while others picked up debris tossed around from the wreck. Hernandez' father and younger brother Hernan arrived shortly after the crash. But, they were too shaken up to talk.
"I would say pay attention to where you're going, and travel at a reasonable speed that's prudent for these road conditions," said Davenport.
According to ETMC Carlos Hernandez is still in critical condition and will spend the night in intensive care.