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Sunday, September 25, 2022
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Local Teen Dead, Father Injured After Truck Crashes into House


A teenage girl is dead, and her father is seriously injured after a pickup truck, driven by a reportedly drunk driver, crashed into their home | Image by CBS

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A teenage girl is dead, and her father is seriously injured after a pickup truck, driven by a reportedly drunk driver, crashed into their home in White Settlement on Sunday evening.

This wreck happened just after 6:15 p.m., in the 9300 block of Jason Court, near the junction of I-30 and I-820.

Police said the driver of the pickup, which was pulling a trailer, was traveling at a high rate of speed when he lost control, crashed through one home’s backyard, crossed the street, and crashed into another house.

The truck drove through at least one bedroom and another part of the house.

There were three people in the house at the time of the crash.

The girl, identified as 18-year-old Katey June Kirkland, was found underneath the truck when first responders arrived, White Settlement Police said.

The girl’s father was taken to the hospital and is currently in critical condition with a head injury. Her mother was also inside the home but did not have major injuries. Their names have not been released.

The driver of the pickup, identified as 63-year-old Donald Gruber, was arrested and charged with intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault.

A woman in the passenger seat with Gruber was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The passenger reportedly told police that she and Gruber had been drinking before the crash.

“It’s evident there was speed involved in this collision, and if the facts bare out, this person should have never been behind the wheel,” White Settlement Police Chief Chris Cook said. “This is a preventable crime, should not have happened at all, and we’ll hold the person responsible accountable.”

According to the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Independent School District, Kirkland was going into her senior year at Saginaw High School. Her mother is a teacher at Saginaw High School, and her dad teaches at its sister school, Boswell High School.

Crisis counselors are already at the school to support the staff on campus for professional development this week. The counselors will remain available for students once classes begin on August 15, according to a statement from the school district.

“We’ve been in conversation with the school district to make sure they have awareness because no doubt this will affect a lot of people,” Chief Cook said, “not only here in our community but across North Texas.”   

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