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Brother, sister killed after leading DPS on chase in Jasper
KJAS/Rayburn Broadcasting Co
Jasper Police have released the names of a Houston brother and sister who died in a crash during a Texas Department of Public Safety pursuit late Friday night, along with the names of three people who were injured. The chase began at the intersection of Highways 96 and 190, and ended on Highway 96 at Milam Street at about 12:00 midnight.
According to Chief Robert MacDonald, 19-year-old James Taylor was driving a late model Ford Mustang, and 17-year-old Shelby Taylor was a passenger in the back seat. Both were pronounced dead at the scene. Meanwhile, a 34-year-old front seat passenger in the Mustang, Edgar Avalos, who is originally from Jasper, but currently resides in Houston, was treated and released from Christus Jasper Memorial Hospital.
Chief MacDonald said it all began when DPS Trooper Shana Neel tried to stop the Mustang for a traffic violation, however, the driver fled, leading officers in a high speed chase.
Lieutenant Frank Erimias said the driver of the Mustang first went eastbound on Highway 190, and suddenly turned back westbound. Erimias said the pursuit then went northbound on Highway 96 to Martin Luther King Drive, where the driver went eastbound on MLK, and then southbound on Burch Street, and then westbound on Milam Street.
On Saturday, Chief MacDonald said he reviewed dashcam video of the pursuit, which clearly showed the driver of the Mustang running a red light at the intersection of Milam Street at Highway 96. MacDonald said the Mustang was hit broadside by a late model Dodge pickup truck, driven by 31-year-old Leif Howard, and occupied by 41-year-old Tracy Tucker, both of Jasper.
The Dodge pickup truck rolled over at least one time, and both vehicles crashed into cars on the lot of D&C Carter's Cars Inc.
Both Howard and Tucker underwent treatment and were later released from Christus Jasper memorial Hospital.
Lieutenant Erimias said the front seat male passenger of the Mustang, Edgar Avalos, was ejected from the car, and officers pulled out the male driver, James Taylor. However, officers were unable to reach the female back seat passenger, Shelby Taylor.
Following the crash, the Mustang caught on fire, which burned it and two other cars on the lot.
According to Chief MacDonald, the Texas Department of Public Safety is continuing their investigation, and a reconstruction of the accident was performed early Saturday morning.
MacDonald said he learned that the brother and sister were headed to a weekend funeral in Louisiana, and they had stopped in Jasper to stay the night.