UPDATE: Second victim, 5-month-old boy, dies after Gregg County wreck involving alleged drunk driver

Hayden Malone (Source: Gregg County Jail website)
Hayden Malone (Source: Gregg County Jail website)(Gregg County Jail website)
Published: Jan. 15, 2022 at 7:00 PM CST
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GREGG COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - JAN. 19 UPDATE: A 5-month-old boy died on Tuesday, Jan. 18, after he was flown by medical helicopter to Dallas Children’s Hospital, according to Texas DPS.


A 2-year-old boy died after a two-vehicle wreck occurred on State Highway 149 in Gregg County Thursday afternoon. Three other people were injured in the crash.

According to a press release, Texas Department of Public Safety troopers responded to and investigate the wreck, which occurred about three miles southeast of Lakeport at about 4:24 p.m. Thursday.

The preliminary crash report shows that Mercedes D. Cole, 24, of Longview, was driving a 2015 Nissan Versa south in the inside lane of SH 149. She had her turn signal activated because she intended to turn left into a Dollar General parking lot.

At the same time, Hayden Matthew Malone, 21, of Tyler, was also driving south. His 2013 Volkswagen Passat struck the Versa, the press release stated.

A 2-year-old boy who had been riding with Cole died after a medical helicopter transported him to Ochsner LSU Hospital in Shreveport, Louisiana, the press release stated.

An adult passenger in the Versa, Alan Jasso Cerna, 26, of Longview, was taken to CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Hospital in Longview. According to the press release, he was listed in serious condition.

A 4-year-old girl who had been riding in the Versa was also airlifted to Ochsner LSU Hospital in Shreveport, Louisiana. According to the press release, she had critical injuries.

An ambulance took Malone to CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Hospital in Longview. After he was medically cleared, he was released into the custody of investigators, the press release stated.

Cole and one of her passengers, a 7-year-old girl, were not injured, the press release stated. Both of them had been wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.

Malone was charged with intoxicated manslaughter and three counts of intoxicated assault, the press release stated. He was taken to the Gregg County Jail.

The collective bond amount for Malone’s charges was set at $300,000.

“Agents from TABC TRACE Unit are actively investigating along with Department of Public Safety Troopers,” the press release stated. “Gregg County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Gregg County District Attorney’s Office, aided in the investigation.”

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