Former Gause resident dies in crash

Kristin Leigh Coats attended school in Milano, graduated from A&M Consolidated High School and was enrolled at The University of Houston. Kristin Leigh Coats attended school in Milano, graduated from A&M Consolidated High School and was enrolled at The University of Houston. A 21-year-old College Station resident, a native of Gause and a former student in the Milano ISD, died just before dawn Sunday in a two-vehicle crash on US 79 a mile east of Milano.

Trooper David Yarbrough said Kristin Leigh Coats was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Sam Berry of Cameron shortly after the 5:45 a.m. collision.

Yarbrough said Coats was the driver of a 2011 Hyundai Elantra which was in collision with a 2009 Pontiac G-6 driven by 33-yearold Kristopher Dyer of Hutto.

Dyer was flown to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bryan where he was admitted to the facility’s intensive care unit.

“He has internal injuries and fractures of both legs,” Yarbrough said.

Yarbrough said Coats was westbound on US 79 after working all night in College Station.

“She came across the center stripe into the path of the eastbound Pontiac being driven by Dyer,” Yarbrough said.

Yarbrough said Dyer apparently tried to take evasive action. The collision actually occurred on the eastbound shoulder.

“It flattened both vehicles back to their firewalls,” Yarbrough said.

Volunteer fire departments from Milano, Gause and Rockdale were summoned to the crash site, along with the DPS and the Milam County Sheriff’s Department.

Yarbrough said both drivers were wearing their seat belts.

THIRD VEHICLE—There was initially some confusion about how many vehicles were involved, according to Yarbrough who noted the incident was originally dispatched as a three-vehicle crash.

“Just a few moments after the collision, 50-year-old Kenneth Petty of Hearne came around the corner, on his way to work at Luminant in Rockdale,” Yarbrough said. “He swerved to miss the wreckage in the road and rolled his 1999 Toyota Camry.”

Pet t y, who was treated at R ichards Memorial Hospital in Rockdale, actually reported the accident, according to Yarbrough.

“Even though it happened at almost the same time, Mr. Petty’s vehicle never made contact with the two wrecked cars,” Yarbrough said.

Both lanes of the highway were blocked for about an hour before one lane was reopened and traffic was able to proceed.

MILAM ROOTS—Coats grew up in Gause and attended school in Milano until her junior year.

The family moved to College Station and she graduated from A&M Consolidated High School.

Her paternal grandparents, Alfred and Wanda Coats, own and operate Coats Grocery, a landmark Gause business.

See obituary, page 4D.

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