Police ID victims in fatal Nacogdoches wreck

Published: May. 30, 2016 at 12:48 PM CDT|Updated: May. 30, 2016 at 8:38 PM CDT
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Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Nacogdoches police have identified three SFA students killed in a fiery overnight wreck.

On Monday, police said Chace Scruggs, 20, of Seabrook, Rajeen "Ray" Williams, 21, of Burelson, and Geena Zarick, 18, of Flower Mound, were killed in the collision. A fourth person, Trent Haynes, 21, of Red Oak, was transported to a local hospital in serious condition. According to the police department, all are currently or were recently, enrolled in Stephen F. Austin State University.

The wreck occurred shortly before 1:20 a.m. in the 2400 block of East Starr Avenue, near the intersection of Glen Hollow Street. Orange paint marks the car's fatal path.

According to a preliminary investigation, a 2007 Dodge Charger, driven by Scruggs, was traveling east on Starr Avenue when it left the roadway and struck several trees near the intersection of Glen Hollow. The vehicle caught on fire.

"We don't have a cause determined yet," said Lt. Dan Taravella with the Nacogdoches Police Department. "We suspect speed might have been an issue. We're not speculating yet on any other possible factors.

Taravella said the victims' friends were following the Charger in a second vehicle. As they made the curve, they saw the wreck and called 911.

"It was very tragic," Taravella said. "They came upon it seconds after it happened."

The friends tried to help.

"There were some attempts made and some contact made from some passengers in the second vehicle with some of the people in the first vehicle," Taravella said. "To what extent they were able to help, I do not know."

Taravella said it's unclear whether the lone survivor was pulled from the burning vehicle or ejected.

East Texas News visited with Haynes' family at Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital. His father said that the young man's surgery went as well as could be expected. Haynes' parents waited patiently outside the hospital's ICU for updates from the doctors.

Nacogdoches Police Department officers will continue to investigate the cause of the wreck. Three families will prepare for funerals, while another family hopes for their son's full recovery.

Police say Starr Avenue will be closed for much of Monday morning.

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