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Rain wreaks havoc on roadways, more wet weather in the forecast

Police say a rain-slicked roadway might have played a factor in a two-vehicle crash Feb. 21 at the intersection of U.S. 281 and RR 1431 in Marble Falls. Staff photo by Connie Swinney

Police say a rain-slicked roadway might have played a factor in a two-vehicle crash Feb. 21 at the intersection of U.S. 281 and RR 1431 in Marble Falls. Staff photo by Connie Swinney


MARBLE FALLS — Crews transported at least one person to the emergency room after two vehicles collided Feb. 21 at the rain-slicked intersection of U.S. 281 and RR 1431, officials said.

Two other people were treated and released at the scene after the head-on collision just before 2 p.m. between a Chevrolet pickup truck and a Ford passenger car.

According to the Marble Falls Police Department, the vehicles entered the intersection at about the same time and collided.

“It looks like wet roads may have played a factor,” Marble Falls Police Sgt. Aaron Garcia said at the scene.

An occupant of the Ford was transported to Baylor Scott and White Medical Center-Marble Falls with non-life-threatening injuries, officials confirmed.

As wet weather descended upon the Highland Lakes, public safety officials said they have witnessed an increase in crashes.

“When rain starts, especially if it hasn’t rained in awhile, there’s oil and other substances that collect on the road and cause issues with traction,” Burnet County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Chris Jett said. “It does’t take very much water on the road to cause you to hydroplane.”

On Feb. 20, two collisions occurred as a cold front ushered in a rainstorm around mid-morning.

At 10:40 a.m., first responders handled an accident at U.S. 281 and Rodeo Drive south of Marble Falls. A 2002 Toyota Tundra was stopped to turn left onto Rodeo when a 2002 BMW “that failed to see the truck” collided with the back of the vehicle.

“The truck was knocked across the highway and hit an 18-wheeler trailer,” according to a MFPD report.

One person was taken to Baylor Scott and White-Marble Falls with non-life-threatening injuries.

About 20 minutes later, crews responded to an accident involving a dump truck and at least two other vehicles in the 7800 block of U.S. 281 near the Park Road 4 intersection.

Later the same day, at about 2:35 p.m., a crash on Texas 71 just east of Bee Creek Road in Travis County involving two vehicles reportedly resulted in at least one fatality.

A 2008 Ford F150 was traveling east on 71 as a 2015 Chevrolet Traverse was traveling westbound.

“(The) pickup failed to control its speed and went into a side skid into oncoming traffic” and collided with the mini-SUV, according to a Texas Department of Public Safety report.

The pickup driver, from Austin, died at the scene.

The extended forecast for the Highland Lakes includes increased rain chances through Saturday, Feb. 24, as well as more possible rain next week beginning Tuesday, Feb. 27.

“People need to slow down and realize the speed limit is the maximum speed in ideal conditions. When it’s raining, that’s not an ideal condition,” Jett said. “You need to slow down.

Here are some tips for motorists to keep safe while on rain-slicked roadways and in case of a crash:

• Drive at a safer speed, which could mean slower than the speed limit.

• Call 9-1-1 as soon as a wreck occurs.

• If the vehicles involved in a crash can be moved off the roadway, then do so.

• Motorists involved in a crash should try to make their way to the shoulder and remain away from traffic.

• Witnesses should slow down and apply hazard lights to warn approaching vehicles of the crash scene and move over when possible.

• Pay attention and follow the directions of law enforcement at the scene.

• Be patient while first responders and crews clear the scene of road hazards as well as the crash scene.

The rain has allowed Burnet County officials to lift the burn ban effective as of Feb. 20.