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A horrifying accident at the Little River Dragway in Texas on Friday tragically claimed the life of a 48-year old military sergeant after he lost control of his GT500 Ford Mustang and crashed near the finish line.

Killeen, Texas native Allen Mouton was reportedly making a single pass at around 7 p.m. on Friday at the quarter-mile strip in the town of Holland when, for unknown reasons, his Mustang turned into the guardrail at a high rate of speed near the 1,000-foot mark. The impact tore the Mustang in two just behind the drivers door, with the front portion of the car striking a tree and coming to rest while the rear portion of the car ended up on the racing surface.

Matt Haeffner, who was standing nearby at a concession stand and witnessed the accident from near the top end of the track, was first on the scene. Haeffner estimated that Mouton’s mostly stock GT500, making somewhere in the neighborhood of 650 horsepower, was traveling at upwards of 120 miles per hour when the incident occurred.

The official cause of the crash is currently unknown and remains under investigation. Eyewitness accounts have suggested a driveshaft failure or a loss of traction at the gear change may have sent the car out of control. Mouton was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Mouton was a 1st Sgt. in the United States Army, and was currently serving alongside his brothers, Reginald and Michael.

Photo courtesy Matt Haeffner