UPDATE: ANGELINA CO. (KYTX) - DPS is releasing preliminary findings in the crash investigation involving the death of a twelve year old Santa Fe, TX boy on April 4, 2014.
The crash investigation revealed, James Patterson was traveling from Mountain Home, Arkansas en-route to Santa Fe, Texas when he drove off US 59 and crashed into the Neches River. Patterson and his 14 year old daughter were able to escape the vehicle but 12 year old Chance Patterson was unable to get out of the vehicle and drowned at the scene.
The investigation indicates that Patterson had been awake for an extended period of time causing him to be fatigued.
It is also believed that Patterson was distracted by a commercial vehicle that was passing him in the outside lane of US 59, in which Patterson moved over to the left to what he believed to be an improved shoulder and subsequently drove off the roadway and into the Neches River resulting in the crash.
As part of the investigation Patterson voluntarily provided a sample of his blood for analysis and final results are pending. No charges have been filed at this time and the investigation is ongoing.
A 12-year-old boy is dead after he drowned when the car his father was driving plunged into the Neches River along Highway 59 south of Diboll early Tuesday morning.
Angelina County Justice of the Peace Pct. 4 Esther Barger tells CBS 19, Chance Thomas Patterson of Santa Fe, Texas was pronounced dead at the scene at 2:30am.
By Tuesday afternoon tire tracks were the only sign of the wreck that took one life and changed two others forever.
"It is very sad," Angelina County Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Esther Barger said.
Barger pronounced the boy dead at the scene. Chance's 14-year-old sister had been able to escape from the sinking car--and heroically attempted a rescue.
"She had managed to get in and rescue the father from the vehicle because it went into the water in the river," Judge Barger said. "But she could not rescue the 12-year-old boy."
As the car continued to sink the girl flagged down a driver who took her to the local police station. Troopers said the girl and her father 62-year-old Thomas Patterson went to the hospital with minor injuries.
By the time first responders were on the scene they said the car was completely underwater.
Everyone agreed the sister did all she could do.
"I imagine she is going to live with this for the rest of her life," Judge Barger said. "But she managed to save her father."
The cause of the accident has not been determined at this time.