Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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July 9, 2014

Firefighter, family man killed in wreck

Corsicana — An off-duty Corsicana fireman was killed and his two young sons were injured in a one-car crash on FM 709 north of Dawson Tuesday night.

Justice of the Peace Jackie Freeland identified the deceased fireman as Louis Lachney, 46, a fire department veteran of 12 years who had recently been promoted to lieutenant.

“He was just extremely excited and proud of that accomplishment and his career,” said Fire Chief Ron McMullan. “Louis was one of these types of guys who always had a big smile on his face. The first thing you saw was the big smile. He always seemed to be able to lighten up a room when he came in.”

The crash occurred about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday at a sharp curve in the roadway on FM 709 about two miles north of State Highway 31 near Dawson.

DPS Sgt. Thomas Moore, supervisor at the crash site, said Lachney’s convertible Mazda was traveling north on FM 709 and failed to negotiate a sharp curve, leaving the roadway and overturning several times. The car left the road, went through a ditch, pushed over some fencing and came to rest about 40 yards off the road in an empty field.

Moore said Lachney and his two sons who were passengers in the car were all ejected from the vehicle. Moore said the three were apparently not wearing seat belts. The two injured boys then walked back to the road in the dark where they flagged down a passing motorist. The motorist then called law enforcement.

Louis Lachney was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Jackie Freeland. His two sons were transported by air ambulance to a Dallas hospital. The boys were released from the hospital Wednesday.

Although the cause of death is believed to be blunt-force trauma, a blood test was ordered on Lachney. No autopsy was requested, since no foul play is suspected in his death.

“I just think it was an excess of speed,” Freeland said. “He just missed the corner.”

DPS Trooper LaTonya Daniels is investigating the crash. Corsicana EMS, volunteer firefighters, and Navarro County Sheriff's Office deputies assisted at the crash site.

Lachney and his wife had four sons, one of whom is a student at Navarro College, and another is in high school.

“He was a good family man,” McMullan said. “He was very devoted to them. He spent a lot of time with family. He loved them very much and was always talking about them.”

Lachney was a hard worker who was always willing to do whatever to help the fire team.

“He was just such a happy jovial character,” McMullan said. “He always brought a smile to people’s faces and they enjoyed being around him.”

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