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Eight killed in 2 separate wrecks, victims named

Texas Department of Public Safety has released the names of eight people who were killed in two separate wrecks on Texas highways on Wednesday.
The first crash occurred about 3:15 p.m. on U.S. 69 less than a mile south of Colmesneil in Tyler County.
DPS reports that a 1997 GMC pickup truck was traveling north on US-69 crossed the center stripe for an unknown reason and struck a 2011 GMC SUV head-on.
The driver of the GMC pickup truck, Brandon Lee Simmons, 30, of Colmesneil, was transported to Tyler County Hospital in Woodville where he died a few hours later.
The passenger of the GMC pickup truck, Michael Ray Simmons, 32, of Brookland, was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Trisha Ford.
The driver of the SUV, Doris McGowan Rogers, 62, of Warren, and two passengers; Jewel Denson McGowan, 95, of Warren, and Sharon Kaye Morgan, 68, of Kountze, also died. A third passenger, Timberlee Kay Gossett, 22, of Kountze, was transported to Christus Hospital-St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont and died shortly after.
The crash closed U.S. 69 in both directions for about five hours.
A second fatal crash occurred at about 4:15 p.m. on U.S. 96 at County Road 601 in Jasper County.
A Honda Civic was northbound on U.S. 96 and had turned left into a crossover, according to a press release from DPS. The driver of the Honda failed to yield right of way at a yield sign and pulled out from the crossover and was struck by a Toyota Tundra that was southbound on U.S. 96.
The Toyota struck the Honda on the passenger side of the vehicle. The impact caused both vehicles to rollover and come to rest in a field. The Toyota was towing a trailer.
The driver of the Honda, Ethel Lorenz, 74, of Kirbyville, and the 8-year-old passenger both died at the scene. The other passenger, a 9-year-old female, was flown by medical helicopter to Hermann Memorial Hospital in Houston with unknown injuries. The Houston hospital did not release any information on the 9-year-olds medical status on Thursday morning.
The driver of the Toyota, Dennis Williams of Beaumont, and passengers Fred Jones, 32, of Port Arthur, and Grady Jones, 74, also of Port Arthur, were discharged from Christus Hospital-St. Elizabeth following treatment.