KILGORE, Texas (KETK) – Some East Texans are speaking up about safety concerns on Highway 31 after four people, including two young children, were killed in a fiery crash on Mother’s Day.
According to Randall Doss, who lives along Highway 31, crashes like Sunday’s are no longer a shock. “I usually avoid 31 as much as I can, I usually go down I-20 because I know what this can lead to,” said Doss.
According to a DPS report, the wreck happened at 4:43 p.m. roughly eight miles west of Kilgore. The report showed that a 2003 Nissan Maxima was driving east when it crossed the center line and hit a 2007 Cadillac DTS head-on.
The driver of the Nissan was identified as 36-year-old Marcellia Jones, a Henderson resident. Jones was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the Cadillac was Genous Lee Jackson, 44, of Longview. He was taken to UT Health East Texas in Tyler in serious condition. A passenger in his car, Katashia Shari Porter, 34, of Arlington, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Also dead in the wreck were two young children, a five-year-old girl and three-year-old boy.
It is unclear from the DPS statement what car they were in. Porter and the two young children were taken to Lighthouse Mortuary in Tyler along with Jones.
The wreck had left Highway 31 East shut down in both directions for hours on Sunday evening. The crash still remains under investigation.
“It’s just a very sad situation,” Doss said. “I really wish they’d look into it, or at least put more law enforcement on this road to make sure everybody’s doing what they need to be doing. But they really, really need to look into lowering the speed limit.”
The road is infamously known for fatality; a road deemed so full of destruction, many are calling it ‘Bloody 31’. Residents nearby are both deeply saddened and outraged at the recurring pattern of fatal wrecks.
Just last week, a Tyler high school student was killed in a similar head-on collision.
Angel Fitch who works alongside ‘Bloody 31’ at The County Line, is broken up. Sunday’s wreck hits close to home.
“It upsets me, everyone is in a hurry and you can lose someone so fast,” said Fitch.
East Texans are now left with another angry plea, begging for change and a safe highway.