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A 17-month-old girl and a 76-year-old man died September 1 after the vehicles in which they were traveling crashed on U.S. 281 in Round Mountain.

Emergency crews responded to the collision at about 5:20 p.m. that day.

According to a Texas Department of Public Safety report, a 2017 Honda CRV driven by 76-year-old Stephen Kent Neil was traveling south on the highway when it went through standing water and hydroplaned. It had been raining around the time of the crash. The CRV crossed into northbound traffic and struck a 2012 Ford Explorer driven by 41-year-old Kirk Evan Strickley. Also in the SUV were 36-year-old Mary Nicole Powers and 17-month-old Emily Rose Strickley.

Neil and Emily Rose Strickley died at the scene.

According to the DPS report, the young girl was buckled in the center of the second-row seat of the SUV in a forward-facing child seat.

Neil was from Dripping Springs, according to the report. Emily Rose Strickley and her parents, Kirk Evan Strickley and Mary Nicole Powers, are from Marble Falls, according to a GoFundMe page.

Kirk Evan Strickley and Powers were transported to St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, where they were treated and released, according to the DPS report.

Family members have set up a GoFundMe account for Powers and Strickley to help with Emily’s funeral expenses. According to the GoFundMe page, her parents are currently unable to work due to injuries they sustained in the collision.

16 thoughts on “Toddler and 76-year-old man killed in US 281 collision

  1. First, terribly sorry for the huge loss to everyone involved and their families.

    I am curious as to how it was determined that the Honda hydroplaned. This was a 2017 model and the tires were unlikely to be worn very much. I just wonder if there were other factors.

    1. I understand that the accident is being investigated.

    2. Don, I was with the DPS investigators in Blanco with both of the cars. They were investigating the details, and retrieving the “black boxes” that they hook up to the computer for driving details. The tires on the Honda were specifically pointed out to me by the investigator. The back right had about 1/4″deep tread,, and the front two a little more than that, and the back left, I could not see. The first question I asked him was, When was it last inspected, and he said two months ago! My son in law, Kirk, was the driver, and said he let off the gas when he hit the rain wall, and saw the Honda, traveling south, coming at them sideways, and T-Boned them. The rest is a tragic history for both sides.I am sorry for the loss of Mr. Neil to his grieving wife, family, and friends, and our granddaughter.


  2. I’m so deeply sorry for your loss. As a grandparent, I’m devastated for you. Prayers for you and your family.

  3. Not sure what lane the cars were traveling in both ways, I remind my wife and kids to STAY out of the passing lanes, Only use the passing lane to pass in. I see So many people traveling in the passing lane, hugging the yellow stripe. So dangerous to drive in the passing lane. My prayers are with both family’s. So sad.

  4. God bless your family and help you find peace in this tragedy.Please everyone slow down and drive safe,especially in bad weather.

  5. This was a tragic accident killing my granddaughter, Emily. My daughter Nikki, and her husband, retired Captain Kirk Stickley, were the fortunate ones, and survived. The car driven by Stephen Neal hydroplaned and hit them head on in their lane. I have so much more to say about the preventable accident, but just ask for prayers. After retiring from the Army as a Captain, Nikki and Kirk met, and married, and were fortunate to have such a beautiful girl Emily, born March 26, 2018, the light of our lives. Kirk is finishing his Masters degree in hospital administration, and Nikki as a paralegal, to have a wonderful life with Nikki’s three other young children, and Kirk’s two school age girls. Please slow down in bad weather!
    Steve and Michele Parsons
    Choccolatte’s Owners
    Marble Falls

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss. An absolute tragedy. My condolences to you and your family.

    2. So sorry for your loss. This is the second hydro-plane/head-on crash of which I am aware in the Hill Country in recent years. Poor tires, rain, speed, inattention. As you said, very preventable. As was the one June a year ago on Hwy 71 that was directly attributable to slick tires in the rain and killed 3 people.

      Prayers for the tough grieving process now for a previous granddaughter and her family.

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