Driver in Wednesday U.S. 96 S. wreck missing; officials seek help in locating motorist

Suspected driver believed travelling from Fort Worth to Lake Charles

UPDATED: Thurday night about 9 p.m. - the missing driver has been found safe and has been reunited with his family, according to DPS Sgt. David Hendry.


SHELBY COUNTY – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is investigating a report of a one-vehicle crash that occurred yesterday evening on US 96, about two miles south of Center. 

The preliminary crash information indicates at approximately 5:15 p.m., a 2005 Mini Cooper passenger car was traveling south when—for unknown reasons—the vehicle traveled off the roadway to the right and struck a culvert. The vehicle then struck several trees and overturned. 

The driver—who Troopers believe is 28-year-old Andrew Blaine Hightower from Denton—was not located at the scene of the crash. Investigators have learned from family members that he was traveling from Fort Worth to Lake Charles, Louisiana. 

Hightower is listed as an overdue motorist, and law enforcement agencies in Southeast Texas have been made aware that he has not arrived at his destination. Anyone with information on Hightower’s whereabouts is asked to contact local law enforcement or Lufkin DPS Communications at 936-699-7340. 

Hightower is described as a white male who is approximately 5’6” tall and weighs about 137 pounds. He has blonde hair and blue eyes. 

This crash remains under investigation.

Among emergency crews on the scene were Texas DPS, Center Fire Department, Shelby County Sheriff's Office, Allegiance EMS, Hughes Wrecker Service and East Texas Towing.

The Light and Champion

137 San Augustine St.
Center TX 75935