Officials: Teens chose to sleep in roadway - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Officials: Teens chose to sleep in roadway

Officials have finally released why 16-year-old Casey Eggeling and his friend where in the roadway Friday morning, when Casey was hit by a 24-foot box truck.

The incident happened Friday morning on FM 47, about 8 miles north of Wills Point.

Authorities say even with the teenager's explanation, it still does not make sense.

DPS Trooper Brady Lunceford says according to Casey's friend who was with him that  night, they were walking down FM 47 heading home from Wills Point.

"He just advised that they sat on the side of the road went to sleep, and when he woke up, his friend was gone. He thought that he must have walked on home, so he got up and walked back to his residence. [He] advised he didn't hear anything, see anything at all," says Lunceford.

But Lunceford says he's still not sure why the teenagers chose to sleep in the middle of the road.

"They just got tired and fell asleep and that's where they decided to do it," Lunceford said.

Their decision resulted in 67-year old Rheuben Lann hitting Casey with his truck, mistaking the teenagers for trash bags, or dead hogs.

Lunceford explained, "The subjects were asleep in the roadway. They were dressed in solid black. There's no way he could have known they were human. He couldn't have avoided the crash. They were black trash bags."

Lann has been an employee at Tawakoni Plant Farm since 1991, and they say Lann has had a clean driving record with the company since he started.

We were not able to get in touch with Lann, but the company issued this statement:

All of us here at Tawakoni Plant Farms express our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Casey Eggeling. This accident was a tragedy for all concerned.  Our sympathy also goes to Mr. Lann, a sensitive and caring person, who is also deeply affected by this tragedy.

Tawakoni Plant Farm did not say when Lann would return to work.

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