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CHEROKEE COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -
Four East Texas men are dead following a three vehicle accident.
It happened just before 8 a.m. on U.S. 79 between Jacksonville and New Summerfield. It had that portion of the roadway closed for roughly 8 hours.
Not much is left of the vehicle that DPS Trooper Steven Crosby said swerved into oncoming traffic.
Trooper Crosby said the Chevy Impala veered into the oncoming lane sideswiping a blazer before hitting an 18-wheeler head on.
The driver and all three passengers in the Impala were pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities said all men were in their early to mid 20s. Troopers have identified the driver of the Impala as Michael Estrada. The three passengers are identified as Christian Chavez, Saul Mancera, and Jaime Benitez.
"The deceased's family members stated they had all gone to Shreveport to the boats, and I guess they were coming back this morning. There was some alcohol in the vehicle that we were able to determine that didn't get burned, but I'm sure there was alcohol involved. More than likely it was just fatigue because they had been out all night over at the casinos in Shreveport and traveling back at 8:00 this morning, they just fell asleep," Trooper Crosby said.
Trooper Crosby said the bodies of those men have been sent off for an autopsy and that the drivers of the blazer and the 18-wheeler were shaken up, but uninjured.