UPDATE: Wreck victim identified as Rev. David Wilkerson
UPDATE 6:24 PM: Hwy 175 has reopened.
JACKSONVILLE, TX (KLTV) - One person is dead and another was airlifted to an area hospital following a two vehicle accident, involving an 18-wheeler, on the Neches River Bridge on Hwy 175, just outside of Cuney.
DPS says around 1:00 PM Wednesday, 79 year-old David Wilkerson was driving eastbound when his car crossed over into the west bound lane, hitting the 18-wheeler head-on.
Wilkerson was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife, 70 year-old Gwendolyn Wilkerson, was taken to ETMC in Tyler. Hospital officials told KLTV 7 late Wednesday night that she is in fair condition.
The driver of the 18-wheeler, 38 year-old Fredrick Braggs of Beaumont, suffered lacerations after his rig went off the bridge into a dry riverbed. He was taken to a Jacksonville hospital.
Wilkerson is best known for his book, The Cross and the Switchblade, and for Times Square Church, the church he founded in New York. News of Wilkerson's death spread quickly Wednesday night across social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook.
Late Wednesday night, World Challenge Incorporated's website carried the following message: "Today, April 27, 2011 David Wilkerson went to be with Jesus. We are receiving many calls and inquiries and simply wanted to confirm the fact that he has passed away in a fatal automobile accident. We appreciate your prayers and our hearts are sorrowful, yet we rejoice at the joy of knowing David Wilkerson spent his life well. More information will be coming soon. Thank you for your prayers." --The Wilkerson Family
The website includes a photo of Rev. Wilkerson that includes the caption, "Rev. David Wilkerson, May 19, 1931-April 27, 2011." You can visit that website by clicking here.
DPS says Wilkerson was not wearing a seatbelt.
If you would like to offer your condolences to the family of Rev. Wilkerson, please visit our condolences page.
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