UPDATE: Authorities Looking For Driver In Fatal Accident
Authorities are searching for the driver of a vehicle after a fatal accident Wednesday evening northeast of Arp.
Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Sgt. Tom Bledsoe said authorities are looking for Justin Echols, of Diana, who is believed to be the driver of a vehicle in which the passenger, an unidentified female, died.
Bledsoe described the man authorities are looking for as a white male, with medium build, wearing a green button-down shirt and blue jeans. He has light facial hair and is between 33 and 35 years old. Authorities do not believe the man is armed.
The accident happened around 5:30 p.m. on County Road 217 near Farm-to-Market Road 850.
A white extended cab Ford truck hauling a trailer with an ATV was headed south on County Road 217, came down a hill and hit a tree on the passenger side, Bledsoe said.
The female passenger was pronounced dead at the scene by a Smith County justice of the peace.
Bledsoe said that after the accident, the driver got on his ATV and left the scene. Investigators do not know why and did not know yet if the man has a criminal history.
The man went into a wooded area where he wrecked his ATV and continued on foot, Bledsoe said.
Crews were clearing the scene around 8 p.m. A portion of County Road 217 was blocked because of the accident.
DPS, Arp Volunteer Fire Department and Smith County Sheriff's Office responded.
If anyone sees someone matching the description of the driver, they should call 911 or the sheriff's office.