Multiple people were taken from vehicle crashes Monday and today, with two of those wrecks occurring on Highway 19/24 south of Paris.

DPS Staff Sgt. Mark Tackett said 27-year-old Robert Preas of Cooper fell asleep while driving south on Highway 19/24 at 6 this morning, and he crashed into a utility pole. Tackett said Preas was transported to Paris Regional Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. A child in the backseat of the car was unharmed.

A firefighter at the scene said the only thing that prevented serious injury to the child was the right wheel of the vehicle, which blocked the pole’s impact to the backseat.

Paris Police Chief Bob Hundley said a two-car collision in the 5500 block of Clarksville Street at 12:30 p.m. Monday was caused by an illegal U-turn. He said a 37-year-old person was transported for injuries, and that an 18-year-old, a 10-year-old and an 8-year-old at the scene were all potentially injured as well.

Paris EMS said Tuesday morning that two of the patients were taken in critical condition from the wreck. Their conditions today are unknown, officials said. Traffic was shut down both ways on the highway as emergency workers cleared the scene. Hundley said Tuesday morning that investigation is ongoing.

Another single-car collision on Monday in the 9000 block of Highway 19/24 sent a 65-year-old man to the hospital with minor injuries, according to emergency personnel on the scene. An officer said the man, headed south, lost control of his vehicle and swerved across two lanes of traffic, crashing into the trees on the side of the road.

Traffic flow slowed to one lane as Biardstown and Midway Volunteer Fire departments directed cars. Hackett said investigations were ongoing, and updates will be provided when available.

Macon Atkinson is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6963 or

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