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Three vehicle accident claims four lives

CHEROKEE CO., March 18, 2013— Portions of Hwy 79 were closed for hours on Saturday morning after a multi-vehicle accident claimed four lives in Cherokee County, approximately 1.4 miles south of New Summerfield.

According to DPS reports, on Saturday morning, at approximately 7:56 a.m., a 2009 Chevrolet Impala, driven by Michael Estrada, was traveling southbound on US 79 when it crossed into oncoming traffic. The Impala struck a 2000 GMC Blazer, driven by Louise Ramirez, and then continued southbound into oncoming traffic, until it struck a 1995 Freightliner Semi-truck.

Four individuals were pronounced dead at the scene at 9:00 a.m. Deceased are:

Michael Estrada, age 24, of Palestine

Christian Chavez, age 24, of Palestine

Jaime Benitez, age 24, of Palestine

Saul Mancera, age 22, of Palestine

All four were pronounced deceased by Justice of the Peace #2 Tony Johnson, and all were taken to Autry Funeral Home in Jacksonville. Next of kin has been notified in all four cases.

According to DPS reports, only one of the deceased was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.

The case is being investigated by Trooper Chaney Wade, of Jacksonville. More information will be released as it becomes available.

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