Memorial held for woman killed in drunk driving crash - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Memorial held for woman killed in drunk driving crash, suspect at large


By Taylor Hemness - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - Five years ago, an East Texas woman was killed in an accident that authorities say was caused by a drunk driver. Today, that man is still on the run after he never showed up at court on the day he was set to plead guilty. A national organization is now helping the family make sure the man is brought to justice.

Two people were killed in the accident on the night of February 12, 2005, on Highway 80 in Longview.

Police say it was because, Jamie Lee Coker, was driving drunk, and ran a red light. Coker's wife was killed in the accident. A cross has been set up to remember the other victim, 73-year-old Martha Wallace of Longview.

"This is truly a crime that never ever has to happen," said Brian Lemaire, the Gregg County Assistant D.A. "All anybody has to do is to think before they get behind the wheel after they've had a couple of drinks."

Coker already had a DWI on his record. He was arrested after the accident, and was set to plead guilty in September of 2005. But, he never showed. He has been on the KLTV 7 CrimeFighters wanted board for more than two years, and is wanted by the Dallas FBI office. Now, Mothers Against Drunk Driving is placing a memorial, and hoping it will make people think.

"40% of all fatalities are caused by repeat offenders, and, in this case, this would be one of those instances where a repeat offender has caused a death here in East Texas," said Melissa Granberry, with MADD East Texas.

The search for Jamie Lee Coker continues, and even though years have passed, the Gregg County D.A.'s office says it won't give up.

"Mrs. Wallace, and Mrs. Wallace's family deserve that closure," said Lemaire.

You can help authorities find Jamie Lee Coker. You can call FBI office in Dallas at 972-559-5000 with information. You can also call the Gregg County Sheriff's Office, or e-mail us at

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