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1 woman dead, 3 injured after 3-vehicle wreck on Highway 96 near Village Creek

One of the three occupants of the 2014 Kia Soul, 36-year-old Laura Whitfill, was pronounced dead at the scene.

LUMBERTON, Texas — Texas Department of Public Safety troopers are investigating a deadly, three-vehicle crash that took place early Saturday afternoon. 

The wreck happened on Highway 96, north of Lumberton near Village Creek bridge. 

Preliminary crash investigation indicates at around 12:45 p.m., a 2014 Kia Soul was traveling north and had slowed for a vehicle turning right, according to a new release from DPS. 

A 2001 northbound GMC pickup moved over onto the improved shoulder and then swerved back to the left, hitting the Kia. 

The Kia was then struck by a northbound 2006 Peterbilt truck tractor semi-trailer, according to the release. 

The driver of the Kia, 41-year-old Benjamin Whitfill from Silsbee, was transported to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for treatment. 

One of the two passengers who were with Whitfill at the time of the crash was 36-year-old Laura Whitfill, who was pronounced dead at the scene by a Hardin County Justice of the Peace. 

The second passenger of Whitfil was an 8-year-old child, who was also transported to the hospital for treatment.

The driver of the GMC, 75-year-old Freddie Smith from Lumberton, was transported to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Beaumont.

The driver of the Peterbilt, 50-year-old Christopher Caraway from Silsbee, was not injured during the crash.

This is an ongoing investigation. Additional information is not available at this time.

From a Texas Department of Public Safety news release:

Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Troopers are investigating a three-vehicle crash that occurred today, August 6, 2022, on U.S highway 96, north of Village Creek. The preliminary crash investigation indicates at approximately 12:45 p.m.; a 2014 Kia Soul was traveling north and had slowed for a vehicle turning right. A 2001 northbound GMC pickup moved over onto the improved shoulder then swerved back to the left, striking the Kia. The Kia was then struck by a northbound 2006 Peterbilt truck tractor semi-trailer. The driver of the Kia is identified as Benjamin Whitfill, 41, from Silsbee; he was transported to also transported to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for treatment. One of the two passengers who were with Whitfill at the time of the crash is identified as, 36-year-old Laura Whitfill. She was pronounced deceased at the scene by a Hardin County Justice of the Peace. The second passenger, a 8-year-old child passenger was also transported to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for treatment. The driver of the GMC is identified as Freddie Smith, 75, from Lumberton was transported to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Beaumont. The driver of the Peterbilt is identified as Christopher Caraway, 50, from Silsbee was not injured during the crash. This is an on-going investigation. Additional information is not available at this time.

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