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Tyler man killed, 2 others injured in crash between van, Freightliner near Athens

The crash remains under investigation.

ATHENS, Texas — One person is dead and two more were injured following a Friday morning crash in Henderson County.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, around 10:15 a.m., troopers responded to a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of FM 753 and FM 59, just southwest of Athens.

The preliminary investigation revealed a van, driven by Christopher Spencer, 61, of Tyler, was traveling west on FM 753. At the same time, a Freightliner towing a dump semi-trailer was traveling south on FM 59. 

DPS says both were approaching the intersection of the FM roads when the van failed to yield the right-of-way at a stop sign causing the Freightliner to hit the van on the right side. Both vehicles drove off the roadway into the west ditch, through a barbed wire fence and came to rest in a pasture.

Spencer was pronounced dead at the scene. He was taken to a local funeral home. A passenger in the van, Robin Sphaler, 67, of Teague, was taken to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries. 

The driver of the Freightliner, Felix Rojas, 46, of Murchison, was checked and released by EMS at the scene. 

The crash remains under investigation.

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