Fiery head-on Madisonville crash kills two, injures one

Fernando Castro/ The Madisonville Meteor
Thursday, May 10, 2012 - 3:59pm

MADISONVILLE -- A tragic crash Wednesday afternoon just west of Madisonville on Highway 21 killed two and seriously injured another.

Madisonville police tell us that, 19-year-old Mathew Halvorson of Lufkin, was driving home after his last final when he fell asleep behind the wheel, causing him to cross over into on-coming traffic and crash head-on into an 18 wheeler.

The big-rig then ignited in flames killing the driver, 55-year-old Randy Harper of Diamond, MO and his passenger, 50-year-old Paula Pinkley of Cassville, MO.

Madisonville Police Chief Chuck May says he's never seen an accident this bad before.

"Anytime you lose a life it's tragic no matter who's at fault or what caused the accident or anything. If you lose a person's life in an accident it's a tragedy for the community as well as the family's. "

Halvorson managed to survive but firefighters had to cut him from his truck using the jaws of life.

He was taken by PHI air medical to St. Joseph's in Bryan.

So far, no charges have been filed.

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