Family of fatal Rusk Co. pipeline explosion victim shares statem - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Family of fatal Rusk Co. pipeline explosion victim shares statement, photos

Farm to Market 1798 was closed Tuesday from County Road 366 to County Road 3122 for a "pipeline incident". Farm to Market 1798 was closed Tuesday from County Road 366 to County Road 3122 for a "pipeline incident".
Connor Wilson and family. (Source: Family Facebook) Connor Wilson and family. (Source: Family Facebook)
Connor and Kristin Wilson and family. (Source: Family on Facebook) Connor and Kristin Wilson and family. (Source: Family on Facebook)
Connor and Kristin Wilson (Source: Family on Facebook) Connor and Kristin Wilson (Source: Family on Facebook)
RUSK COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Tuesday's fatal Rusk County pipeline explosion was ruled an accident by Justice of the Peace 3 Jackie Risinger.

Tuesday afternoon, firefighters responded to the explosion on Farm to Market 1798 East near the intersection of County Road 3122.

Rusk County Office of Emergency Management Officer David Chenault said the line was broken by a tractor on a mowing crew. A man was using a tractor about 200 feet off of FM 1798 when the tractor struck a natural gas line, causing the rupture. The victim of the explosion has been identified as Conner Wilson, 32. According to the press release issued by the Rusk County Sheriff's Office, Wilson, a Longview resident, was killed instantly. A family friend says Wilson worked for Thunderhorse Oilfield Services. He says Wilson left behind a wife and four children.

The family of Conner Wilson released a statement on Facebook, saying "On behalf of Kristin and the kids, with breaking hearts, we want to let everyone know that Conner passed away yesterday evening in a tragic accident. Services will be held as follows:

  • Visitation at 5-7 p.m. Friday, August 15 at Rader Funeral Home Chapel in Longview, TX
  • Funeral service at 10 a.m. Saturday, August 16 at Mobberly Baptist Church in Longview, TX
  • Burial following service at East Mountain Baptist Church Cemetery."
A memorial guestbook may be signed at Rader Funeral Home's website.  
A fund has been set up for Wilson's family. You can contribute by clicking here.

A representative from the Rusk County Office of Emergency Management told KLTV that they were made aware that a 12-inch pipeline exploded when they received a 911 call at approximately 5:15 on Tuesday evening. Gas was leaking from the pipeline, but as of 6:35 p.m., OEM officials confirmed the pipeline, which is owned by Enbridge, was shut off.

Residences in a one-mile radius around the ruptured area were evacuated, although residents were allowed to return to their home by 9:45 p.m. on Tuesday.

Eastside and Churchill volunteer fire departments responded along with Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and the Rusk Co. Sheriff's Department. 

A viewer told KLTV that they heard an explosion from their home in Carthage, about 17 miles away. 

Copyright 2014 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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