EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON
BURNET — A Leander man faces charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide for his involvement in an October 2017 automobile collision that killed two Burnet County women.
A Burnet County grand jury indicted 57-year-old Mark Salley on two counts of manslaughter and two counts of criminally negligent homicide. Salley was booked into the Burnet County Jail on Sept. 10 and released Sept. 11 after posting bond.
According to a Texas Department of Public Safety report, Salley was driving a 2013 Dodge Ram westbound on Texas 29 in the inside lane on Oct. 2, 2017, when he collided into the back of a 2015 Ford Focus driven by 56-year-old Pamela Stewart.
Stewart was stopped in the roadway and attempting to turn onto CR 304 when Salley’s truck struck the rear end of her car. The collision forced the Focus off the highway, where it rolled over, according to the DPS report.
The pickup then collided with an eastbound 2013 Ford Escape driven by 52-year-old Dena Kolb of Burnet. The Escape also rolled after the collision, the report stated.
Kolb was pronounced dead at the scene. Stewart was transported to an area Baylor Scott and White medical facility, where she later died.
Salley was taken to Seton Medical Center Williamson in Round Rock, where he was treated and released.
In the indictment, the grand jury found that Salley “recklessly, namely, by failing to keep proper lookout or by following a vehicle too closely or by driving at an unsafe speed or by failing to control his speed or by failing to maintain an assured clear distance from a vehicle in front of (him), or by any combination of the forgoing acts or omissions, cause the death of” Stewart and Kolb.
If convicted, Salley faces two to 20 years in prison on the second-degree felony manslaughter charges and up to two years on the state jail felony criminally negligent homicide charges.