SMITH COUNTY, TX (12/03/2016) — A wrong way accident on Saturday afternoon claimed the life of Mark Tippitt, and left three others injured.
Police identified 56-year-old Mark Tippitt (of Kilgore) as the victim of a fatal crash that occurred on Highway 31, about nine miles west of Kilgore, Texas.
Authorities reported that shortly after 4:00 p.m., 32-year-old Keith Nelson was traveling eastbound in a 2006 Ford Expedition when he crossed into westbound traffic and collided with a 2015 GMC Traverse, driven by 50-year-old Traci Tippitt (also of Kilgore).
Mark Tippitt, who was a passenger in the Traverse, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The remaining two occupants of the Traverse, Traci Tippitt and 78-year-old Jack Ward (of Henderson), were taken to East Texas Medical Center in Tyler, Texas for treatment. Tippitt was listed as stable, but Ward remains in critical condition.
Nelson was transported to the same hospital in serious condition.
An investigation is underway.
Officials have not stated what caused the at-fault driver to veer into oncoming traffic; however, the area had experienced some rain recently, which (when combined with a failure to drive to conditions) may have caused the driver to lose control of his vehicle. Until an investigation is complete, we can only speculate which factors contributed to this crash and if any charges will be filed.
To those affected by this tragic accident, we offer our condolences.