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Two men die while aiding wreck victim on Texas 31

By Sarah Thomas
Jan. 18, 2013 at 11 p.m.

KILGORE - Two men were killed Friday evening when they were hit on a darkened highway while trying to assist a motorist injured in a wreck that had just occurred.

Dulis Rolando Cervantes, 27, and Jason David Albright, 33, both of Tyler were killed, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Witness accounts painted a gruesome picture of the scene that unfolded along the stretch of highway near the Country Tavern restaurant, which shut down both lanes for about two hours.

The deadly chain of events began when one vehicle rear-ended another in the eastbound lanes of Texas 31 west of its intersection with FM 2767, according to a DPS trooper on the scene.

The driver of one of the cars was injured, said Allen Ellis, an Overton resident who also was helping after witnessing the wreck.

"She was screaming, 'Help me, help me,' " Ellis said.

He said he was talking to the woman when Albright and Cervantes also came to her aid. But he acted quickly when he heard a westbound vehicle approaching from over a nearby rise in the highway. As he grabbed the driver and pulled her out of her vehicle, the oncoming car hit the two men.

"I felt the wind and weight of the car as it passed me," Ellis said. "I felt the blood of the two men that were hit. I had the woman in my hands, I carried her to the back of the car, to the grass."

Cervantes was declared dead at the scene. His body was about about 50 feet away from the original wreck scene. Albright was taken to Good Shepherd Medical Center where he also was declared dead.

Both men were tended to at the scene by a nursing student and a phlebotomist who also were nearby when the wreck happened.

Tracy Senterfitt, a nursing student at University of Texas at Tyler, and Jessie Meeks, a phlebotomist with Elite Lab Services in Tyler, said they checked both men's vital signs and performed CPR. Meeks said Albright still had a pulse, but Cervantes did not.

The condition and identity of the driver who was moved by Ellis was unknown late Friday. DPS officials said she and at least two other injured people were transported by ambulance from the scene. It was unknown if the driver of the car that hit Albright and Cervantes was injured, or whether any other passengers involved in the original wreck were injured.

- News-Journal City Editor Peggy Jones contributed to this story.



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