WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — Officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety released more information regarding a fiery head-on crash on Thursday evening on Highway 79 at the Wichita-Clay County Line that claimed the life of a beloved coach at Petrolia High School.
Officials with the Petrolia Consolidated Independent School District announced on Thursday night, April 20, 2023, that Patrick Joe Maxwell, the head baseball coach for the Pirates, died after he was involved in a car crash.
On Friday, April 21, 2023, DPS officials confirmed Maxwell was the victim of a fatal crash on Highway 79 near Russell’s Fireworks on Thursday evening.
According to Sgt. Marc Couch, Media Communications for the Texas DPS Northwest Region, the crash happened shortly after 6:15 p.m. on Thursday, April 20, 2023, on Highway 79 just outside of the Wichita Falls city limits near the Wichita-Clay County Line.
Sgt. Couch said a preliminary investigation into the crash revealed that a Chevrolet pickup was traveling north on Highway 79. The pickup was driven by a 17-year-old male from Wichita Falls, and an 18-year-old Wichita Falls man was the passenger in the pickup.
Maxwell, who was driving a Chevrolet Tahoe, was headed south on Highway 79.
Sgt. Couch said the pickup crossed the center dividing line to pass a vehicle he was following, driving into the oncoming traffic lane.
The preliminary crash report from Sgt. Couch said due to insufficient time and space between the two vehicles, the driver of the pickup took evasive action by driving into the southbound shoulder of Highway 79.
According to the crash report, Maxwell made an attempt to avoid the pickup but also drove into the southbound shoulder of Highway 79 and ended up colliding with the pickup head-on.
Maxwell, 53, of Wichita Falls, was pronounced dead on the scene at 6:18 p.m. by a Justice of the Peace.
The driver of the pickup, identified as Chance Mills, 17, of Wichita Falls, was transported to United Regional after suffering serious bodily injury. The passenger, identified as Colby Izaguirre, 18, of Wichita Falls, was also transported to the hospital with non-incapacitating injuries.
The current status of the occupants of the pickup is unknown at this time.
This is a developing story. Stick with Texoma’s Homepage for updates as more information becomes available.