Two Mineola men killed in rural wrecks


A Mineola 28-year-old man died from injuries received in a one-vehicle accident on Farm-to-Market 1253 on Monday, Jan. 22.

Kevin “Levi” Champang of Mineola died in the wreck that occurred at around 3:45 a.m. when he lost control of the vehicle he was driving on the curvy wet road, overcorrected, skidded sideways and hit a tree at the driver’s door.

The accident occurred three-tenths of a mile from County Road 452 on the farm-to-market road in an area where the posted speed limit is 60 miles per hour.

Two occupants of the vehicle were transported from the scene, one by ambulance to East Texas Medical Center Hospital and the other by emergency helicopter. A blood sample was requested from the driver in the investigation of the cause of the accident.

Smith County Department of Public Safety Trooper Jasmine Andreasen investigated the accident.

Another Mineola man, 80-year-old Gene Stone, also lost his life after a two-vehicle accident on Highway 80 east of Mineola on Jan. 14.

According to the DPS report Mr. Stone was going east on Highway 80 in a Hyundai Elantra and made a left turn on a cross over and attempted to go north across the westbound lane onto County Road 2667 in Hoard.

His car was struck by a 1998 Chevrolet pickup driven by Jonathan Burge of Hawkins.

According to the DPS report Mr. Stone failed to yield the right-of-way from the crossover. Mr. Stone was taken by Air 1 helicopter to a Tyler hospital and Burge by ambulance to East Texas Medical Center Hospital in Quitman.

There were no passengers in either vehicle and both drivers were wearing safety belts.


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