UPDATE: Victim in Friday night’s fatal accident identified

A five-vehicle accident Friday evening sent five to area hospitals.

Authorities have released the names of the persons involved in a five-vehicle accident Friday between Cleveland and Tarkington on SH 321 at CR 2243. The accident claimed the life of 41-year-old Jeremy Gorney, of Porter, and sent four others to area hospitals.

Gorney was fatally injured when the Ford F 150 he was driving was struck head-on by a Dodge Ram 5500 truck driven by Richard Kamerzink, 27, of Cleveland.

According to Trooper William Koen with the Texas Department of Public Safety, the accident occurred around 6:30 p.m. when a westbound Toyota Corolla, driven by Beverly Oliphant, 66, of Cleveland, slowed down to turn off of SH 321 onto CR 2243. The vehicle behind Oliphant, a Nissan Pathfinder driven by Amber Cooper, 38, of Cleveland, also slowed down behind Oliphant, Koen said.

Kamerzink, who was following both of the vehicles, reportedly clipped the Pathfinder and veered into the oncoming lane of traffic, hitting Gorney’s vehicle head-on. A fifth vehicle, a Dodge Ram driven by Allen Michael, 55, of Dayton, was following Kamerzink and collided with one of the vehicles before coming to a stop.

Gorney was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston with CPR in progress. He died later that evening. The four other drivers, all said to have non-life-threatening injuries, were transported by ground ambulances to area hospitals.

Gorney was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, which could have contributed to his death, authorities said.

Assisting Trooper William Koen and DPS Sgt. Rob Willoughby with the accident investigation were deputies with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, Tarkington Volunteer Fire Department, Cleveland Fire Department, Smith Towing and J&J Wrecker Service. The Liberty County Sheriff’s UAV Unit assisted by shooting aerial videos.

By Vanesa Brashier, editor@bluebonnetnews.com

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