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Updated: Fatal accident this morning on Hwy 96 near Spur 414

Updated: A tragic accident on Hwy 96 between Brookland and Pineland happened this morning, taking the life of an elderly person and injuring several others.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has released their preliminary investigation which indicates that at approximately 8 a.m., a 2020 Dodge Caravan was traveling south and following a Ford F-150 and a Chevrolet Equinox. Due to controlled burns, there was heavy smoke in the area hindering visibility.

The driver of the Caravan failed to control speed and struck both the Ford and the Chevrolet. After the crash, a truck tractor semi-trailer traveling north struck the Ford and pushed it back into the Caravan, causing the Caravan to then strike a Ford F-250 towing a trailer traveling south.

The driver of the Caravan, identified as a 64-year-old Karen Underwood from Bronson, and one passenger, were transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. A passenger in the Dodge Caravan was also transported and died at the hospital. She is identified as 80-year-old Patricia Ritter of Pineland.

All other injuries sustained during the crash were non-life-threatening.

This remains an active and ongoing investigation, no further information is available at this time.

Mrs. Ritter was traveling in a group aboard a nursing home van. Legacies Nursing and Rehabilitation in Hemphill has released the following statement. "The Legacies transportation van was involved in the pile up on 96 this morning caused from thick smoke. We are asking for prayers for the staff members involved, and the family of our dear resident that did not survive. Our Legacies Family is grieving."

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