Jason Charles


A 24-year-old Tyler man is now facing a charge of intoxication manslaughter in a Friday crash that killed a Tyler Legacy High School senior.

Jason Charles is being held in the Smith County Jail on bonds totaling $650,000 on an on-sight charge of intoxication assault causing brain injury and a charge of intoxication manslaughter with a vehicle, according to online jail records. Charles is charged in the death of Lilly Thornburgh, who would have turned 18 today.

Tyler police spokesman Andy Erbaugh confirmed Tuesday that Thornburgh had died from injuries in the late Friday wreck on Broadway Avenue. Charles was booked Saturday morning into Smith County Jail.

According to Erbaugh, police responded at about 11:50 p.m. Friday to the crash in the 2800 block of South Broadway Avenue. He said a pickup driven by Charles was headed north on Broadway when it struck the back of a pickup driven by Thornburgh.

Thornburgh was taken to UT Health, where Erbaugh said she later died.

Charles was also taken to UT Health and was later arrested and booked on a charge of intoxication assault.

Thornburgh was a member of the Tyler Legacy Red Raider Band. Band Director Sam Labordus on Tuesday remember Thornburgh as someone who was kind to everyone.

“Lilly was an amazing student that brought so much light into this world,” Labordus said in a statement released by Tyler ISD spokeswoman Jennifer Hines. “She was witty, compassionate and kind to everyone around her. Her smile was contagious and was an absolute presence in any room she entered.”


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