PHOTOS: Two recent East Texas grads die in car accident, GoFundMe set up for families

Local News

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Two recent East Texas high school graduates were killed in a car accident over the weekend, according to family members and friends.

19-year-old Zane Taylor, a 2019 Grand Saline graduate, and 18-year-old Maggie Groom, a 2020 Eustace graduate, both died in the crash near Brownsboro on Saturday.

A DPS preliminary report stated that the wreck happened at 9:30 a.m. on HWY 31 between Brownsboro and Chandler. The car driven by Taylor and Groom was heading west when it went slightly off the shoulder.

The driver overcorrected, crossed the center line, and collided with another vehicle driven by 30-year-old Rachel Patterson, of Eustace. Patterson was taken to UT Health in Tyler.

Taylor and Groom were pronounced dead at the scene. DPS indicated that all three people involved were wearing seat belts.

GoFundMe accounts have both been set up for the Taylor and Groom families. Both have received substantial donations, but are still short of their goals. Links to the accounts are embedded above.

One week before the wreck, in what would be the last tweet before his death, Taylor posted a message saying: Life’s short man, enjoy that s***.”

One family friend said on Facebook that it was “the most comforting thing.” She continued on to write:

We keep saying ‘he was so full of life’ or ‘he was living every single day to the fullest’ but to see it in his own words just reaffirms the person who he was.

There will be a memorial service for Taylor at the Grand Saline football stadium on Thursday, August 13 at 8:30 p.m. All that attend are asked to bring a mask and that COVID-19 precautions will apply.

Arrangements for Groom have not been confirmed as of this writing. On the GoFundMe account, the organizer wrote that Maggie was a “beautiful talented and amazing young woman.”

Please know that the family knows you are praying and they feel all the love and support. We are just speechless. There are just no words but there are a legion of people who love this family. Maggie was a beautiful talented and amazing young woman. She was truly what her Class of 2020 voted her: Unforgettable.”

Patterson is undergoing a third surgery on Monday to check for further internal bleeding, according to her sister Samantha Wilde. She has already had orthopedic and stomach surgery as well.

Wild said that her sister’s ankle was completely severed and that she suffered several cuts to her face and neck.

Patterson is currently on a ventilator until the surgeries are over with a few more weeks in the hospital.

“Rachel is a fiercely independent woman and one of the happiest people you’d ever meet. She is a very loved sister and daughter. I don’t know how she lived. My mom and dad and prayed and thanked God. If you look at the car, it does not look like she could’ve escaped.”

Samantha Wild

Patterson was headed to work at the time of the crash. She was filling in for a coworker and was not supposed to report to her job until later in the day.

Her family provided photos of her car to KETK News that were taken after the accident.

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