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18-WHEELER CROSSES CENTER LINE HITTING JEEP HEAD-ON, KILLING DRIVER BEFORE RUNNING INTO DPS PATROL UNIT

Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) investigated a three-vehicle crash yesterday evening involving a DPS Trooper on SH 94, about six miles west of Groveton. The preliminary crash investigation indicates at approximately 6:45 p.m., a 2003 Mack truck tractor towing a pole trailer was traveling east. A 2017 marked DPS Chevrolet patrol vehicle was traveling west. The DPS Trooper identified a traffic violation on another eastbound vehicle and made a U-turn. As the patrol vehicle was attempting to re-enter the eastbound lane the driver of the Mack drove over
into the westbound lane and struck a 2019 Jeep Wrangler head-on. The truck tractor semi-trailer then crossed back over the eastbound lane and struck the back right side of the DPS vehicle and continued off the roadway and overturned onto its passenger side and caught on fire. The driver of the CMV is identified as Chad Deford, 35, from Livingston. Deford was not injured during the crash. The State Trooper is identified as Brady Germeroth, 37, from Crockett. Germeroth was also not injured in the crash. The driver of the Jeep is identified as Melanie Painter, 53, from Groveton. Painter was transported to Crockett Medical Center where she was pronounced deceased a short time later. This crash remains under investigation. Additional information is not available at this time.