PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

October 1, 2013

Wife, son of former LSC-PA music director killed in road rage wreck

Mary Meaux
The Port Arthur News

— A Nederland church is holding a link and drink sale to benefit Heath Vercher, a former Southeast Texas music instructor whose wife and young son were killed in a road rage incident in Harris County.

First United Methodist Church in Nederland will host a link and drink sale beginning at 9:30 a.m. Sunday at the church, 104 N. 13th St., until sold out. Heath Vercher was music director at the church from October 2010 to May. He previously served as music instructor at Lamar State College-Port Arthur. The family moved to Baytown in May.

“Our hearts are aching for him,” Shelva Laird, church secretary, said. “We held a prayer service for him last night (Monday). About 75 to 80 people came together with our pastor (The Rev. Wayne Flowers). We are lifting Heath and his family in prayer.”

Daniel Walzer, director of commercial music programs at LSC-PA, also expressed sympathy for Vercher’s loss.

“We are deeply saddened and shocked to hear the recent tragic news about the passing of Tania and AJ Vercher,” Walzer said. “On behalf of the faculty, staff and students of the Commercial Music Department and Lamar State College-Port Arthur, our thoughts and prayers are with Heath and the Elizalde and Vercher families during this extremely difficult time.”

Vercher’s wife, Tania M. Vercher, and 2-year-old son Alejandro “AJ” Vercher were traveling westbound on FM 1943 near Garth Road Sunday when her vehicle was struck by a man identified by law enforcement as Emil McMahon.

According to a press release from Harris County Sheriff’s Office, McMahon was allegedly trying to maneuver his truck in such as way as to run his wife’s vehicle off the road but collided head-on with Tania Vercher’s vehicle instead. Tania Vercher died at the scene her son was transported to Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center hospital where he died the following day.

Charges against the driver of the pick-up are pending the results of tests on his blood, which was drawn at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital, where he was treated for injuries. His wife apparently did not sustain serious injuries.

According to information gathered by HCSO investigators, the man tried to run his wife off the road while they were eastbound. His pickup then entered the westbound lane and hit the Vercher’s car. His vehicle burst into flames.

Funeral services are pending in Houston.

E-mail: mmeaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews