Police: Drunk driver kills 2 women heading home from church - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Police: Drunk driver kills 2 women heading home from church

Joe Rogers. Photo Source: Smith County Jail. Joe Rogers. Photo Source: Smith County Jail.
Geneva Townsend and grandchildren. Photo Source: Family member Geneva Townsend and grandchildren. Photo Source: Family member

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A weekend accident has claimed the life a retired school teacher from Tyler.

Just after 8:00 pm Sunday, Tyler police responded to a major accident involving 2 vehicles at the intersection of W. Erwin and Lyons St. 

Geneva Davis Townsend, 88, of Tyler, died at the scene. She retired as a bank teller from the downtown Regions bank.

The passenger of the vehicle, 81-year-old, Jane Onys Bohanon, a retired school teacher, died from her injuries at a local hospital at 2:48 am, Monday.

Police say the women were on their way home from Tyland Baptist Church when the accident happened.

According to investigators on the scene of the accident, Joe Preston Rogers, 61, was traveling on W. Erwin when he crossed the center line striking Townsend's vehicle head on in the intersection.

Witness Steven Wooten says he rushed to the scene, "First, I checked out the car, saw what was going on there, and I saw that those doors weren't opening. So, I just ran over to the truck and helped this one dude pry open the door."

Wooten says Rogers was incoherent, "He couldn't even hardly walk, how he thought he could drive? I have no idea." Witnesses say Rogers sat on the fence line, confused, watching as first responders helped Geneva and Jane.

Investigators have charged Rogers with two counts of Intoxicated Manslaughter.

In the initial press release, Tyler Police indicated that both women were teachers. Upon further research, KLTV learned that Townsend, was in fact not a teacher.

Tyland Baptist Church says they're planning a memorial service for Geneva and Jane.

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