Belton: Teen killed in fiery crash on rural road identified

A teenager died after he was left trapped inside a car that burst into flames after veering off a rural Central Texas road and hitting a tree, the Department of Public Safety said Wednesday. (MGN)

BELTON, Texas (KWTX) Authorities Thursday identified the Belton teenager who died after he was left trapped inside a car that veered off a rural Central Texas road, hit a tree and burst into flames as Joshua Flanagin, 17.

Flanagin, a Belton High School student, was a front seat passenger in a 2016 Subaru whose 20-year-old driver swerved to try to avoid a deer in the road at around 1:40 a.m. Sunday on FM 1123 just north of Hickerson Road about five miles south of Belton, DPS Sgt. Bryan Washko said in a press release Wednesday.

The driver lost control of the vehicle, which left the road, went down an embankment and hit the tree on the right passenger side, he said.

“The driver escaped the wreckage, however, the juvenile passenger remained trapped,” he said.

“The Subaru was fully engulfed by fire,” he said.

Flanagin died at the scene.

The driver, whose name was not released, was taken to Scott & White Medical Center in Temple.

The accident is under investigation.

Flanagin was the second of two Belton High School students to die over the holiday.

Joshua Allen Reyner, 15, died at Scott & White Medical Center after he was shot in the back on Jan. 2 in Belton.

Officers responded to the shooting at around 8 p.m. Thursday in the 1600 block of South Wall Street.

Neighbors reported hearing two gunshots.

Visitation is from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Harper-Talasek Funeral Home Chapel at 503 North Main St. in Belton.

The funeral service is at noon Saturday at the funeral home.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to each student’s family and friends, as well as the school community,” interim Superintendent Dr. Robin Battershell said Thursday.

“Additional counseling support will be available this week to assist our students and staff.”