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Icy roads cause wrecks, one fatal, and challenge motorists

Slick patches of ice on area roadways Jan. 2 caused several wrecks, including a rollover on RR 1431 that prompted public safety officials to encourage motorists to take a few precautions as frigid weather continues for the next few days. Courtesy photo

Slick patches of ice on area roadways Jan. 2 caused several wrecks, including a rollover on RR 1431 that prompted public safety officials to encourage motorists to take a few precautions as frigid weather continues for the next few days. Courtesy photo

FROM STAFF REPORTS

BURNET — Icy roads in the Highland Lakes resulted in several collisions, including one that was fatal, and a word of warning from law enforcement responding to the incidents.

From Dec. 31 through Jan. 3, temperatures dipped into the 20s for the lows and the 30s for the highs in some areas, causing rain-drizzled roads to freeze.

“It has been icy between Burnet and Bertram on (Texas) 29,” Burnet Police Chief Paul Nelson said. “Cars were traveling at a slow rate, but you could see the vehicles slide around when they hit the patches.”

One of the earliest reports of a wreck due to icy conditions came on the afternoon of Jan. 2 on RR 1431 just outside Jonestown when a pickup truck rolled over.

Then, just before 5 p.m. that evening, a three-vehicle collision on Texas 71 at Spanish Oaks Club Boulevard west of Bee Cave resulted in the death of one motorist and injuries to at least eight other people, according to Austin-Travis County EMS. The agency responded to more than two dozen incidents involving slick roadways in a 24-hour period.

On U.S. 281 in Burnet at about 8:30 a.m. Jan. 3, a motorist reported frozen road conditions, which created a traffic hazard in front of the Burnet Fire Department.

The same morning, along Texas 71 west in southern Burnet County, motorists reported patches of ice and slow-moving traffic along the overpass intersection of U.S. 281.

Local law enforcement agencies are cautioning motorists to pay attention to potential weather hazards through the end of the week.

“I would definitely check the road conditions,” Nelson said. “I would stay home, but if you do have to travel, travel at a slower speed and be cautious across bridges.”

According to the National Weather Service, Highland Lakes residents can expect overnight temperatures in the upper 20s through Thursday, Jan. 4.

Daytime highs could reach into the mid-50s by Friday, Jan. 5. However, lows will drop down to the mid-30s that night.

Over the weekend, highs are expected to return to the mid-60s with lows in the upper 40s.

editor@thepicayune.com