3 dead in 2 area crashes in 8 hours

Published 1:27 pm Tuesday, June 6, 2023

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PORT ARTHUR — Two people died and three were critically injured after an 18-wheeler tanker truck reportedly rear-ended a passenger car at approximately 11:49 p.m. Monday.

Justice of the Peace Brad Burnett said it appeared a Dodge Charger was stopped at the light at the intersection of Texas 73 and West Port Arthur Road headed eastbound when the driver of the tanker truck hit the car from behind.

There were five people in the car at the time of the crash in Port Arthur.

A man and a woman in the car died at the scene, and one person was sent via medical helicopter to a Houston hospital.

As of Tuesday morning Burnett learned the other two individuals were brought to Hermann Memorial Hospital in Houston in critical condition. As of 8 a.m. Tuesday the three were still alive, he said.

Burnett said he could not find driver’s licenses for the people in the car to identify them but did find Homeland Security documents with photos for each of the five.

Burnett said he noted the five people had airline tickets and luggage and were from Cuba.

Burnett said he saw the driver of the 18-wheeler walking around after the crash and he appeared not to be seriously injured.

The force of the crash caused the tanker truck to flip onto its side. The car was severely damaged.

Port Arthur Police Department closed the roadway for a number of hours while working on the crash. As of 9 a.m. Tuesday, the road had been reopened.

PAPD Chief Tim Duriso said once the crash investigation is concluded, the findings would be sent to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.

Fatal water crash

A 39-year-old South Texas man died after his vehicle left the roadway and went into the Intracoastal Canal on Pleasure Island Tuesday morning in Port Arthur.

Police Chief Tim Duriso confirmed a person was retrieved from the car in the waterway.

Justice of the Peace Brad Burnett said the body was retrieved at approximately 7:06 a.m.

Burnett said the driver was leaving work from the Cheniere terminal in Sabine Pass and, for some reason, veered over to the left, entering the water.

The man’s name is not being released pending notification of next of kin.

Authorities said he was from South Texas.

Port Arthur police are investigating.

Port Arthur Fire Department dive team members and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit also responded, Burnett said.

— Written by Mary Meaux