Former Dallas Morning News bureau chief dies in car crash

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Wayne Slater, a noted political reporter and the former Austin bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News, died on Monday at the age of 74 following a car accident.

According to the Morning News, the accident occurred on Friday when Slater swerved into a pickup truck while driving near Florence, Texas, where he lived. The driver of the truck survived and was taken to a local hospital for minor injuries.

Slater was perhaps most well-known for his extensive coverage of former President George W. Bush's gubernatorial and presidential campaigns.

"Wayne Slater was a hard-working and insightful reporter," Bush said in a statement, per the Morning News. "He understood Texas politics better than most and contributed a lot to his field. Laura and I send our sympathy to Dianne."

Slater retired in 2014 after covering the Texas governor's race that saw the election of current Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas), according to the Morning News. Following his retirement, her served as an adjunct professor of public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

Former Morning News reporter Christy Hoppe, who succeeded Slater as the paper's Austin bureau chief, said he was a "whirling dervish of a man."

"He brought energy into work, into his writing. He had a great instinct for news. When everyone else was looking straight ahead, Wayne was looking around corners for what couldn't be seen yet," said Hoppe, according to the newspaper.

CNN's John Berman remembered Slater as "a lovely man and a great reporter," calling his death "such a loss."

"Wayne and other members of the Texas press corp, they were our tour guides through the intricate world of Lone Star politics for a generation of young reporters. We were punks. Wayne was a prince," said Berman.

Slater is survived by his wife Dianne, his son Todd and his three grandchildren.

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