Update: Elderly Couple Dies After Crashing Car Into Pond - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/11/08-Tyler

Update: Elderly Couple Dies After Crashing Car Into Pond

It's the second fatality crash involving a body of water in the last few days.  Sunday night, a Tyler elderly couple was killed after they crashed their car into a private pond on Woodlake Drive in Tyler.  The couple has been identified as Jake and Betty Smith. 

Jake, 87 is a former President of the Tyler Area Chamber Of Commerce.  He was also very active with the Historic Aviation Memorial Museum.  He and his wife Betty, 81 were longtime Tyler citizens.  KLTV 7 has also learned they lived near the pond.  

Doug Marshall, who lives near the pond says he knew something just wasn't right, Sunday night when he saw a car speeding through his neighborhood.

"I told my wife I'm going to check this out and see because I knew at the speed they were going, they were not going to make this turn," said Marshall.  Marshall says he grabbed his flashlight and went outside.  That's when he saw car tracks in his yard, through some nearby woods and straight into a pond.

"I ran down there, and I saw lights glowing in the pond, and I thought oh my God they are in the pond," said Marshall.  Marshall called 911, but knew if he waited for police it may be too late.

"I said I'm going in, I'm going in, so I took my clothes off, and I jumped in the water, and the lights went out, so I looked for the car and finally EMS came and the fire department came, and I said it's over here," said Marshall.  Police say they did all they could to get the couple out of the car, but the Smith's had been under the water too long.

"We don't know the cause of why they did what they did, if it was a medical condition, or what happened," said Tyler Police Officer Don Martin.  Marshall says he will always remember the Smith's as good neighbors and say they will be missed.

As we mentioned earlier this is the second fatal crash involving water in a matter of days.  A man was killed Friday afternoon in Gregg County when the truck he was riding in crashed into Lake Devernia.  Funeral services for the Smith's are still pending. 

Molly Reuter, Reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

 

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