Chadd Michael Blackburn was alone in his 1982 red Ford F150 pickup truck in the southbound outer lane of U.S. 271, when he verred off the road, ran about 250 yards down a grassy embankment and the bottom of the embankment, and hit a fence post before hitting a large tree and overturning in a heavily wooded area.
The truck was not visible from the highway, and if not for a person driving in another lane near the ill-fated vehicle who reported it, it might have been difficult to find.
The accident was reported at about 9:59 a.m.
Gilmer Wrecker Service (Davidson Auto Salvage) sent a wrecker. Overstreet Wrecker Service sent one later to help extract the truck from amongst the trees.
The Overstreet wrecker ended up pulling it out, and it was then loaded onto the Davidson wrecker for removal.
Prior to recovering the vehicle, a man from Croley Funeral Home, with the help of some of the emergency personnel at the scene, retrieved the body.
The Croley representative was from the Croley Funeral Home at Gladewater, because the funeral homes in Gilmer (Grubbs-Loyd is owned byCroley’s) were busy with funerals.
The victim’s wife showed arrived at the scene about 40 minutes after DPS troopers did, said Trooper Billy Spears, who investigated the wreck, assisted by Trooper Drew Nipp.
She was treated by East Texas Medical Center EMS, which had come to the scene before it was determined that the truck driver was dead.
Blackburn was pronounced dead at the scene by Upshur County Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace W.V. Ray.
Trooper Spears said it is believed that Blackburn suffered some sort of seizure, which caused him to lose control of his truck.
Judge Ray ordered the body sent for autopsy.