DPS: Man driving faster than 110 mph causes deadly crash on IH-35

Dante Payne_117647

JARRELL,Texas (KXAN) — A man who authorities say caused a deadly crash on IH-35 in Williamson County early Saturday morning was going 118 miles per hour, according to an arrest affidavit. Dante Payne, 28, from Killeen, was driving his Dodge Challenger along IH-35 near the Williamson and Bell County line when he ran into the rear of a tractor trailer, killing his passenger 21-year-old Keyanna Russell.

A witness said the driver of the Challenger drove by them “at a very high rate of speed… and the vehicle seemed to had exploded when it struck the rear of the truck.” When the DPS trooper arrived at the scene, he noticed the speedometer in the vehicle was locked at 118 mph, according to the affidavit.

Emergency crews at the scene of the crash said Payne had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath.

Payne was transported to a nearby hospital with minor injuries. He is currently in the Williamson County Jail charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Charges could be upgraded if tests show Payne was intoxicated.

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