3 killed in weekend wrecks

Published on Monday, 18 November 2013 23:52 - Written by KENNETH DEAN kdean@tylerpaper.com

The weekend saw three separate fatal accidents in East Texas.

A Department of Public Safety dispatcher in the Tyler office said the weekend began with the death of 15-year-old Michael Ochetto Jr., of Henderson, Saturday morning just before 3 a.m.

DPS Trooper Jake LeBlanc stated in his report that Ochetto was driving a 2013 Nissan Juke on Farm-to-Market Road 1716, near County Road 2160 in Rusk County, when he entered a curve, left the roadway and struck a culvert. 

LeBlanc stated the teen was wearing his seat belt but didn’t survive and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The second fatal incident left one dead and two injured when a 2012 Harley-Davidson motorcycle struck a 2002 Dodge Stratus on U.S. Highway 69, near FM 779, about 2 p.m. Sunday. 

Trooper Tommy Barrett stated the Harley driven by 58-year-old physician’s assistant Christopher D. King, of Sherman, was traveling north on U.S. Highway 69 when he collided with the Dodge driven by Dakota Wayne Watts, 22, a nursing assistant from Saltio. 

Barrett wrote in his report that Watts turned in front of King. 

King was killed, and his wife, Norma Mae King, 56, a nurse, who was a passenger on the motorcycle, was listed in critical at Mother Frances Hospital.

Watts was treated at East Texas Medical Center in Quitman with minor injuries.

In Smith County, trooper Randall Loftin was investigating the hit-and-run fatality that left 43-year-old Jack Thomas Arnold Jr. dead at the scene.

Loftin stated Arnold was walking south on County Road 1125, near Texas Highway 31 west, when he was struck by an unknown vehicle also traveling south on CR 1125.

Loftin stated Arnold was dead at the scene, and his body was sent to Southwest Forensics in Tyler for an autopsy.

DPS is asking anyone with information about the accident claiming Arnold’s life to contact their office in Tyler at 903-939-6001.