Center Police conclude investigation into Saturday pedestrian fatality collision on Hurst Street

CPD INVESTIGATION: Driver attempted to avoid woman, no charges to be filed

Dear Light and Champion readers,

On Thursday, Nov. 7, an egregious mistake was made on this site when an inappropriate photograph from the scene of a wreck which occurred on Saturday, Nov. 2, was accidently posted. As soon as it was realized the photo had been posted to the website and then to Facebook, it was deleted off both of our sites.

Unfortunately, before that could happen the post had been shared and is still apparently being shared on the internet out of our control. Please know, it was never our intention to share that photo in the first place, and that it was a mistake which happened without realizing the wrong photo was posted.

To the family and friends of Tamoya Gentry, and to our readers, I am truly sorry this happened in the first place. It never should have and to those who have the ability to share the post once it had gotten out of our hands, I ask that you delete it.

In my many years in the field of journalism I have certainly made many mistakes. This has to be the worst and for that I am truly sorry.


Regards and with sincere apologies,

Mike Elswick, Editor and Publisher

The Light and Champion


On 11/02/2019 at 7:29 p.m., Center Police Corporal S. Thornburgh and Reserve Officer K. Sage were dispatched to a 911 Call of an Auto/Pedestrian Accident in front of NAPA in the 800 block of Hurst Street.

Officers arrived at the scene along with Allegiance EMS. EMTs were unable to revive the injured pedestrian who was later identified as Tamoya Gentry DOB 06-04-1985 of Center.

The driver of the Gray Ford pickup which struck Ms. Gentry was identified as Larry Sales of Coushatta, La., who remained at the scene until released by investigating officers.

Trooper J. Fountain of San Augustine County assisted the Center Police Department with the initial investigation. It was determined at the scene in accordance of the presence of physical evidence and eyewitness statements that Ms Gentry ran into traffic and in front of the Northbound pickup.

According to the debris from the vehicle and skid marks, Mr. Sales attempted to avoid the collision with the pedestrian by slamming on his brakes and veering the vehicle to the right side of the roadway.

Justice of the Peace Marla Denby was notified and when she arrived at the scene, Ms Gentry was pronounced deceased.

Ms Gentry’s family had been notified at that time and Community Funeral Home was called to transport Ms Gentry from the scene.

The Center Police Department has concluded this investigation and have determined that no charges will be filed.

To the Family and Friends of Ms. Tamoya Gentry, we at the Center Police Department are deeply saddened by the loss that you and your family have encountered. Our condolences.

The Light and Champion

137 San Augustine St.
Center TX 75935