STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY
ROUND MOUNTAIN — At least one person is fighting for his life July 11 after a two-vehicle crash involving motorists stopped to turn off U.S. 281 at the Blanco-Burnet County line.
Officials said two vehicles facing south had stopped just before 8 a.m. on the highway at County Road 403 north of Round Mountain as one was apparently attempting to turn onto the country road when a third southbound vehicle “swerved” to miss the stationary vehicles, resulting in the collision.
The four-door passenger car reportedly moved to the right, went around the vehicles, overcorrected, came back across the highway, and collided with a northbound pickup truck.
“That wreck was caused as (motorists) were turning left off the highway,” Burnet County Judge James Oakley said. “This accident yet again illustrates the need for a center turn-lane off of a very busy Highway 281.”
Burnet County Precinct 4 Commissioner Joe Don Dockery was at the scene and captured images to share with the Texas Department of Transportation to call for a closer look at the corridor.
“(It was) a very violent collision. … I have been advocating for a turn-lane at this location for years,” Dockery said. “TxDOT should consider this a project with regional impact as it benefits residents of both Burnet and Blanco counties.
“We need TxDOT to fund this center turn-lane project,” he added.
The pickup truck driver declined treatment at the scene; however, the driver of the passenger car was transported by ambulance to an area hospital with potentially critical injuries, officials said.
Along that area of U.S. 281, the lack of a center turn-lane has resulted in a number of other crashes over the years, including at least one fatality since 2015 when an 18-wheeler collided with a southbound Marble Falls motorist stopped to turn left.
“It can wreak havoc when vehicles are approaching from behind,” said Oakley regarding the current highway alignment, which features no turn-lane in that area.