Brady ag bank officer dies in Mason accident

A late night single-vehicle traffic accident in Mason County claimed the life of a former Bradyite and sent three others to the hospital. Matthew Morris, 33, of Mason and formerly of Brady, was killed when he was thrown from the vehicle that he was driving while failing to negotiate a 90-degree turn on F.M. 1871, approximately eight miles southwest of Mason. He was an assistant vice president of Federal Land Bank in Brady. Still under investigation by state trooper Lewis Harrington with the Texas Department of Public Safety, the exact cause of the accident has yet to be determined but appears to be excessive speed. ‘I believe the curve snuck up on him. After an extended straight away, the curve has a tendency to sneak up on people,’ said Harrington. The call was received by Mason law enforcement at 1:42 a.m. Sunday at which time fire, EMS and law enforcement units responded. The three other occupants of the vehicle, Bill Lehmberg, Donnie Weiss and Cory Owen, were transported to Llano where they were treated and released from the hospital. Initial reports state that Morris and Lehmberg were the driver and one of three front seat passengers, respectively, in a late model dually pickup truck. Morris lost control of the vehicle and both he and Lehmberg were ejected. Morris was pronounced dead at the scene by Mason County Judge Bill Goad. According to Harrington, no occupants in the vehicle were wearing their safety belts when the accident occurred. Born Nov. 3, 1968, Morris lived most of his life in Mason, graduating from Mason High School in 1987. A graduate of Texas Tech University, he was a vocational agriculture teacher in Dumas and Wall before joining SureFed Feeds in Brady, where he was the feed store manager. He was employed by First Ag Credit in Brady as a loan officer before joining the Federal Land Bank in Brady in 2001 as an assistant vice president. Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Tuesday (today) in the First United Methodist Church in Mason, the Rev. Jim McClain, officiating. Burial was in Gooch Cemetery. Survivors include his parents, Sam and Linda Morris of Mason; a sister, Lisa Grief and her husband, Gary, of Austin; his maternal grandmother, Hazel Barrington of Mason. He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, S.L. and Lola Morris, and maternal grandfather, Madison Barrington. Pallbearers were Robert Master-son, Ted Flowers, Tim Flowers, Jeff Schmidt, Bill Fritz Lehmberg and Jay Tedder.

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