Fatality Accident in South Polk County, Alcohol Suspected, BIG THICKET, October 17, 2009 - At approximately 2:35 am on October 17, 2009, a green 1995 Chevy Tahoe driven by Nathaniel Elpers, 21, of Big Thicket Lake Estates was south-bound on US-146 about 1 mile south of FM-2610 when his vehicle left the road to the right. Elpers' vehicle slammed into several trees, rolled and came to rest upright facing south in the grass. South Polk County Volunteer Fire Department and Americare Ambulance Service were dispatched to the scene along with Polk County Sheriff's Deputies Vance Berry and Rob Thomas. Additionally, DPS Troopers Nita Bowen and Donny Akers were dispatched to the scene. Sadly, Elpers' passenger, Joshua Lee Henry, 22, was killed in the accident. The accident occurred on Henry's birthday (10/18). DPS Trooper Donny Akers administered a field sobriety test on Elpers who was placed under arrest for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Elpers stated to Trooper Akers that he was the Fire Chief for the Big Thicket Volunteer Fire Department. Elpers was booked into Polk County Jail and charged with intoxication manslaughter. Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 Stephen McEntyre pronounced Joshua Lee Henry dead at the scene at 3:18 am. Elpers did have insurance. A rollback wrecker from Harwood Wrecker Service recovered Elpers' vehicle and it will be stored at 101 Harwood Drive in Livingston. The scene was cleared by 5:20 am.
A special thank you to the Texas Department of Public Safety.