Austin Traffic Fatalities of 2018
We hope that the tragic events recorded on this page act as a reminder to all those in the Austin area to drive safely and respect other drivers.
Recently added posts:
- Texas Has an 18 Year Streak of Daily Traffic Fatalities
- Pedestrian struck, Killed on Mopac | Aaron Weir
- 21-year-old Pedestrian Struck in Hit and Run | Brett Lambert
- Pedestrian Struck by Intoxicated Driver | Seth Mendoza
- Passenger in Ford Escape Killed | Ronald Hadnot
- Four killed in Bastrop hydroplane crash
- Father of five killed in Leander hit-and-run | Danny Roy Hankins
- Labor Day Crash in Lampasas County Kills Austin Woman | Maria Rios Lopez
- Pedestrian Hit-and-Run Claims Life | Michael Anthony Reed-Harper
- 19-year-old Killed in Hit and Run | Deemora Benson
- Pastor loses wife and son on 183 | Sharon Johnson, Sheldon Ray Johnson
- Truck Driver Loses Control Near Airport | Glenn Christopher Lewis
- 22-year-old Driver and Passenger Thrown from SUV on I-35
Remember the 2000 presidential race between George W. Bush and Al Gore? The day before voters cast their ballots in that race, was the last day that no one died in a traffic accident across the state of Texas.
They say everything is bigger in Texas, and this streak of traffic fatalities is certainly large. A total of more than 59,388 people have died since Nov. 7, 2000. And unfortunately, that number keeps growing.
In case you didn’t want to do the math, that means that 6,120 days have passed in which at least one person died on Texas roads.
How can Texas turn this traffic fatality problem around?
Experts say that the vast majority of fatal crashes are due to driver error. 94% could have been prevented.
Primary causes of traffic fatalities include:
TxDOT is leading an initiative to raise awareness around the issue with the hashtag #EndTheStreakTX.
We are asking drivers in our communities to take responsibility for their driving and keep our roads safe.
Aaron Ross Weir died early in the morning on Nov. 4, 2018 shortly after trying to cross N. Mopac in the 11300 block. Weir was struck by multiple vehicles, several which failed to stop.
A silver Nissan, traveling southbound, struck Weir at 12:33 a.m. The driver stayed at the scene.
Another driver – who hit a different vehicle involved in the crash – fled the scene.
Authorities are searching for a driver who struck and killed a pedestrian on I-35 and 8th street. Austin police identified the pedestrian on Nov. 4 as 21-year-old Brett Lambert.
A reward of up to $1,000 is available to someone who shares information leading to the driver’s arrest. People who provide tips to law enforcement can remain anonymous. Call Crime Stoppers at 512-472-8477 or use the “P3 Tips” smartphone app.
This crash marks the 66th person to die in Austin this year.
Family and friends have remembered Brett Lambert as a friendly and giving young man who was passionate about sports.
McMinn Law Firm represented a case in 2018 in which a bicyclist was struck by a hit and run driver who was later identified, and found to be intoxicated. Luckily in this situation no one died. McMinn Law Firm was able to recover over $1.2M for the bicyclists’ injuries.
On October 19th, a pedestrian was killed when he was struck on S. Lamar by a driver who had been drinking.
Police say the victim, Seth Mendoza, was not walking in the sidewalk when he was struck. They say he was walking in the Southbound lane of S. Lamar Blvd just south of Bluebonnet Lane. Mendoza was pronounced dead at the scene at 2:32 a.m.
The driver, 23-year-old William Roy, stayed on scene. Officers arrested him for DWI. No additional charges are expected at this time. Roy was driving a Toyota Highlander.
Passenger Lost Life in Northwest Austin Crash
Police have announced that a 52-year-old man lost his life in a Northwest Austin crash. The crash occurred Friday October 12 in the evening.
A driver in a Nissan Altima pulled out of a private drive in 12700 block of Research Boulevard (US Hwy 183). The driver attempted to pull into a lane, hitting a Ford Escape in which Hadnot was a passenger.
Ronald Hadnot was rushed to Dell Seton Medical Center where he died on Tuesday October 16.
The driver of the Altima stayed at the scene and was not suspected to be intoxicated. This marks the 58th traffic fatality in Austin in 2018.
Four Killed, Child Injured in Bastrop Crash
Bastrop authorities report that a pickup truck hydroplaned on Texas Highway 95 and struck a vehicle in oncoming traffic. The pickup struck a Honda sedan, killing the driver and three passengers. Two of those who died were juveniles. A child was also traveling in the 1996 Honda, and was critically injured.
Authorities have released the identities of the victims. Among them are:
- Yadira Xiomara Paredes Ramirez, 30
- her daughter, Monica Alejandra Paredes, 8
- daughter, Daicelin Sofia Paredes, 3
- father-in-law, Sergio Agua Casarrubia, 62
Yadira’s 1-year-old, Eris Regina Paredes, remains in critical condition at Dell Children’s Hospital.
Authorities say the Bastrop pickup truck was speeding, or traveling “at an unsafe speed” during a period of light rainfall.
The pickup driver is in stable condition at a Central Texas hospital.
Residents of the area say that the road is known to be dangerous because of the 65 mph speed limit. A boy died at the location of the crash when a pickup truck lost control in July 2018, just two months prior. Since the crash, TxDoT has announced they will review the speed limit on the road.
Leander police are searching for the driver who killed Round Rock man, Danny Roy Hankins.
- Police believe that the truck involved was a white or light-colored GMC or Chevrolet pickup truck. Authorities believe there was a tool box in the back and a work rack. The truck should have damage to the rear, rear bumper, and tail lamp.
Roy Hankins is survived by his wife, Aleisha Hankins, and five children.
Roy Hankins was struck while riding his motorcycle home. His wife Aleisha got the news when she woke up in the middle of the night, realizing he wasn’t there. The last she heard from his was 11:45 p.m. saying he was on his way home.
Aleisha checked Danny’s location on her phone and rushed to where he was being treated at St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center.
When she arrived, medics there told her the news. Danny had been struck in a hit-and-run crash and did not survive.
Danny Hankins lost his life the same day as Aleisha Hanks lost her late husband
His death happened on the same day, eleven years ago, that her late husband died in a car accident while leaving Krause Springs on FM 1431. Aleisha Hankins had planned to attend church with her family to remember her late husband, Aaron Anglin, and later visit his grave. Instead, Aleisha began making funeral arrangements for Danny.
The couple got married in 2015, joining their families together. Danny Hankins’ three young children and Aleisha Hankins’ two daughters all lived together in their home in Leander. She says “he would do anything for any of them without asking anything in return. He loves more than a lot of people I know. He lived life like there wasn’t a tomorrow.”
She said they saved up for a motorcycle together. She says that he always wore a helmet while riding the bike, and that he rode it daily.
Danny worked for the Cedar Park Public Works Department. Coworkers planned a memorial motorcycle ride on Sunday September 30 that stopped at a restaurant and traveled to his funeral.
How you can help:
Help police find the hit-and-run driver.
Police are still searching for the driver of the white pickup truck. A witness said that they saw it travel from Palmera Ridge into the path of Danny’s motorcycle where he was riding on Ronald Reagan Boulevard.
The unsafe turn into oncoming traffic caused Danny Hankins to run into the rear of the truck. The witness said that the driver stopped briefly, but then fled the scene.
The vehicle they believe was involved in the crash was been found abandoned Monday night.
Anyone with information is asked to call 512-528-2814 or they can submit an anonymous tip online.
Provide support for the family as they face uncertainty from loss.
A friend of Aleisha Hankins has set up a GoFundMe account where the community can help support the family by donating.
Labor Day Crash Kills Austin Woman, Maria Rios Lopez
Two vehicles collided in rainy weather on September 3, 2018 at around 2:50 p.m. on U.S. Highway 183 in Lampasas.
The collision involved a 2014 Dodge Charger, driven by 67-year-old Maria Rios Lopez, and a 2010 Ford F350 pickup driven by Brandy I. Jones. 44-year-old Jones, of Round Rock, was towing a 1976 homemade livestock trailer.
Pedestrian Michael Anthony Reed-Harper Killed in North Austin
Police have identified a man killed in a hit and run Sunday September 2 as Michael Anthony Reed-Harper. The accident ocurred in the 12200 block of Dessau Road near Parmer Lane. Reports indicate that the man died at the scene of the crash due to trauma.
Anyone who has information about this hit and run crash is asked to call the department’s vehicular homicide unit at 512-974-5576.
The pickup with trailer lost control when it hydroplaned while traveling northbound. It jackknifed toward the Ford’s driver side.
Lopez steered to her right to avoid a collision but was unable to prevent the crash. Lopez was pronounced dead at the scene. Her passengers, Dario M. Chavez, 51, and Gloria Jaramillo, 50, were transported to area hospitals. Reports indicate that Lopez was wearing a seatbelt.
Jones and her passenger were uninjured.
19-year-old Deemora Benson Died From Injuries in August Accident
Police report that Deemora Benson was killed while crossing the frontage road of Interstate 35 near East Seventh Street. The crash occurred around 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 18. Benson was hospitalized since the crash, and succumbed to her injuries September 6, 2018.
Police say Benson was struck by an SUV driver, 21-year-old Felipe Hernandez, that fled the scene but later returned. He was arrested and charged with failure to stop and render aid (a third-degree felony.)
The sister of Benson said that they had just left the Terminal 6 bar and was trying to prove that “she could run fast in heels” according to court documents.
Benson is the 50th person that has died in Austin traffic crashes in 2018.
Kendall Taylor Dezelle Loses Life After SUV Runs Off I-35
Authorities in Austin have identified Kendall Taylor Dezelle as the woman who died in the hospital from injuries sustained in a crash on I-35. The report stated that a white 2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer was traveling north at 6 a.m. on Interstate 35 near Howard Lane. The SUV left the roadway and began to roll.
Dezelle and her passenger were thrown from the vehicle. 22-year-old Dezelle succumbed to injuries from the crash six days after the crash on August 27th.
Austin Police Department is still investigating this crash. Anyone with information is asked to reach out to APD’s Vehicular Homicide Unit Detectives at (512) 974-3761.
Pastor’s Wife and Son Killed in Burnet County Collision
On July 3rd, Sharon Orsak Johnson and her 13-year-old son were killed while traveling on US Highway 183 in Burnet County.
The crash occurred when a Dodge Ram driving in the opposite direction of two vehicles crossed into their lane. The Dodge Ram was traveling north on 183. Sharon Johnson was driving a Chrysler Town and Country minivan going south. A Chevrolet Equinox traveling south was also hit.
Sharon Orsak Johnson was driving with her son riding in the car. The driver of the Equinox was retired pastor Rev. Sheldon Ray Johnson, who was transported to the hospital. He was traveling with a 57-year-old woman who was also transported to the hospital.
According to reports, the entire small town of Goldthwaite either knew or was familiar with the Johnson family. Those who remember her described her as “jolly” “fun” and having a great sense of humor. Ginger Spies, a member of the handbell choir at church, said that Ray was a cute kid, and that he “wouldn’t turned out to be … something exceptional.”
The crash occurred on Johnson’s first day of retirement. A colleague said that he and his family were traveling to their new home with the collision happened.
Man Dies in 18-wheeler Crash near Airport
Police have identified that a man, Glenn Christopher Lewis, 36, was pronounced dead at the scene after he lost control of his truck. The crash occurred July 3rd on E. Hwy 71. The crash caused all westbound lanes of SH 71 to SH 130 and FM 973 to close.
The truck was loaded with bags of concrete and landed topside. In severe rollover truck accident cases, improper loading of the freight has been known to cause drivers to lose control of vehicles.
The death of Glenn Christopher Lewis marks Austin’s 30th fatal crash in 2018.
Taylor Bicyclist, Michael Webb, Dies While Riding on Main Street
A bicyclist was killed while riding down Main Street in Taylor on June 11. He was struck by a dump truck that was traveling eastbound on West Sixth st. While making a right turn, the dump truck collided with the bicyclist who was traveling northbound on the sidewalk and entering the sidewalk.
The driver of the dump truck was not identified, but is reported to be a 24-year-old man from Hutto.
Police Say Wet Roads, Tires to Blame for Three Fatality Crash
Three were killed in a June 9 crash on Highway 71 in Spicewood, TX. Among those were 17-year-old Maribel Enriquez, Preben Hammer, 71, and Alice Hammer, 68.
Maribel Enriquez was a talented soccer player at Marble Falls High School. She was a rising senior. Both Preben Hammer and Alice Hammer were city commissioners appointed by District 6 council member Jimmy Flannigan.
The brother of Maribel Enriquez, Jose Ornelas, 31, was transported to the hospital and remained in ICU days after the crash.
Following the crash, many in the Marble Falls community stepped up to help the Enriquez family with funeral costs. Jennifer Hall, the MFISD Admin to Athletic Chair, stated that:
Our Mustang family lost a precious young lady yesterday in a tragic auto accident. Maribel Enriquez was an upcoming senior and talented soccer player. She will be dearly missed. Proceeds from this week’s boys and girls soccer camp starting tomorrow will be donated to the family to help with funeral expenses. If you know of anyone that would want to attend the camp, please let them know. The Bluebonnet Cafe and Super Taco (where Maribel worked) are collecting donations as well.
Slick Tires Caused Austin Area Fatal Crash
Authorities determined that the two vehicle crash was caused by bald tires on a slick roadway. Enriquez was driving a Ford Mustang on a wet stretch of Texas 71. The car’s worn rear tires caused the young driver to lose control of the vehicle, slide across multiple lanes of traffic. Her vehicle collided with a Mercedes-Benz carrying Preben Hammer and Alice Hammer who died as a result of the crash.
Two passengers were traveling in the Mercedes-Benz. Susan Stein, 78, was transported to Dell Seton Medical Center in critical condition. The second passenger in his 80s was not transported to the hospital.
City Officials Urge Drivers to Check Tires
Following this immense loss, officials are asking the public to take a closer look at the wear and tear on tires, as well as ensuring they are properly inflated.
It was raining when the crash happened, leading officers to believe that the slick roads and worn tires were to blame.
Tire tread can reduce your chances of hydroplaning! If you would like further explanation about why hydroplaning happens, and what to do when it happens to you, check out McMinn Law Firm’s resource on driving in the rain.
Neighbors Say Texas 71 Road Design is Flawed
Although safety improvements have been made to the road, those to travel it most often still say there are safety concerns. Over time lanes have been added so that drivers can make left and right turns safer.
However the road has been the site of multiple deadly crashes over recent years. An April 2017 crash claimed the lives of three female teenagers in a bus chartered by Huston-Tillotson University.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who have been effected in these deadly incidents. It is our hope that they are able to recover justice they deserve. In the future, we hope that road improvements can prevent future tragedies.
Austin Officers Identify 18-year-old Who Died Saturday in East Austin Crash
Update May 30 2018: Austin police have identified an 18-year-old who died in a crash Saturday as Sean Everton Bodie.
According to reports, Bodie was driving east in the 7600 block of FM 969 near Decker Lane when he lost control of the vehicle. Reports indicate that Bodie crossed railroad tracks at a high rate of speed.
Bodie veered into oncoming traffic in the westbound lanes, where a Ford F-250 struck Bodie’s vehicle.
Bodie was pronounced dead at the scene. Two adults in their 50s were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
A child was taken to the hospital with critical injuries. A second child sustained minor injuries. It is not clear which vehicle the children were in. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Sean Everton Bodie following their tragic and sudden loss. We hope for a safe recovery for those who where injured in the crash.
For more information about Austin Car Crashes, visit this resource for Austin crash victims and their families.
Round Rock Officer Died from Injuries While Directing Traffic Around an Accident
Update May 2 2018: Round Rock police officer Charles Whites has died two months after he was struck by an intoxicated driver while directing traffic around a deadly hit-and-run on Interstate 35. A funeral is being held in his memory today.
Officer Whites is the first officer of Round Rock to be killed in the line of duty. He was a 19-year veteran of the force. He was an avid outdoorsman who managed an outdoor retail shop before getting into policing in his mid-40s.
Feb 25, 2018: A Round Rock Police officer was transported to the hospital early Sunday morning after being struck by an intoxicated driver.
Early Sunday morning at approximately 5:27 a.m. Round Rock police received a call about a pedestrian walking near I-35. When officers arrived, a deceased person was found on I-35 near Old Settlers Boulevard. Police later identified the pedestrian as 25-year-old Amir Azad. The driver that struck Azad did not stay on the scene to render aid.
Police shut down the road to investigate the fatal crash. Northbound lanes of I-35 remained closed for seven hours. As crews worked to investigate both crashes, three team members were shocked by a lightning strike. Two were officers and one a support technician. All three were taken to the hospital.
A 65-year-old driver struck officer Charles White. The man, who police expect to charge with intoxication assault, stopped at the scene.
Whites remains in critical condition. He is an 18-year veteran of the department.
Did you know?
Texas has a Move Over Slow Down Law designed to protect officers working crashes and traffic stops. The law requires drivers to move out of the lane closest to an emergency vehicle, TXDoT crew, or police officer. If it is not possible to move out of the closest lane, drivers are required to reduce the speed to 20 miles below the speed limit.
In November 2017, DPS trooper Thomas Nipper was fatally struck by a driver while conducting a traffic stop. In response, WilCo conducted a single-day crackdown of enforcement of the “move over/slow down law” on November 14 that same year.
A Texas law passed in 2013 to expand the protections for TXDoT crews. Before the expansion of the law, more than 100 TxDoT employees lost their lives while working.
Police Identify Passenger Who Died in Monday Crash, Dean Hood
Two suspected drunk drivers were charged following a crash in downtown Austin early Monday.
Police have identified the drivers as Kelsi Weatherby, 27, who was driving with passenger Dean Hood in a Hyundai Elantra. Weatherby was driving in the center lane of I 35 frontage road toward the Cesar Chavez intersection. Around that time she was struck from behind by driver Devin Nethery, in a red Chrysler 200 sedan.
A third vehicle was involved when Weatherby’s vehicle hit a Volvo. The driver of the Volvo was uninjured.
Dean Hood, the passenger in Weatherby’s vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene. Nethery, the 22 year old driver of the red Chrysler 200 sedan, has been charged with intoxication manslaughter.
Kelsi Weatherby was charged with DWI.
Student Succumbs to Injuries 10 Days After Slaughter Lane Crash
Police reported that Daniel Franco Tovar succumbed to injuries incurred on Wednesday Feb 28 in front of KIPP middle school in South Austin.
The school is located in the 700 block of E. Slaughter Lane. Police say that the boy’s family was with him at the time of the crash.
The driver who struck him ran to a nearby gas station to ask them to call 911.
This crash marked the third pedestrian accident on Slaughter Ln. in less than two weeks.
Police officer Demetri Hobbs told CBS Austin that the intersection would have been very dark at the time of the crash, 6:30 a.m. The intersection is one that is expected to see improvements from money from the 2016 Mobility Bond. It isn’t known yet if street lights will be added to the intersection.
The proposed corridor program details up to 14 miles of bike lanes, new sidewalks, and improved traffic lights that promote pedestrian safety.
A pedestrian hybrid beacon is planned for a location just up the hill from the intersection.
Two Children Killed in Cedar Park Crash in front of Walmart
The parents of two boys killed in a Cedar Park racing crash are suing the racers for $15 million.
The drivers named in the suit are:
- Blake Kirkpatrick, 22
- Michael Hammer, 18
The lawsuit alleges that “Defendant Blake Kirkpatrick was later bragging to friends and acquaintances that he was involved in a crash which he saw on the news – and which resulted in the death of children.”
Their parents are also named in the suit.
Both drivers are charged with two counts of racing on a highway causing death.
Two drivers have been arrested in connection with a racing crash that killed two Cedar Park boys.
Cedar Park police say that Hayden Hammer, 18, was driving a Dodge Ram pickup truck when he slammed into a Nissan Rogue SUV.
According to surveillance video from nearby businesses and evidence at the scene, police determined Hammer was racing another truck in the westbound lanes White Stone Boulevard when he struck the SUV.
Police asked the public for help in identifying a red or maroon Ford F-260. Police have not yet released the name of the second driver.
Wednesday Jan 10 just before 4 p.m. police and paramedics responded to a serious crash in Cedar park that killed two children and left another in serious condition.
Police reported that the crash happened at the corner of West Whitestone Boulevard (FM 1431) and Walton Way. The crash occurred in the area close to the Walmart. A Dodge Ram pickup Truck appears to have struck a Nissan Rouge SUV.
Thursday afternoon police identified the two children who died on site as 1-year-old Daniel Chaudhary and 8-year-old Elijah Chaudhary. Both children were traveling in the red SUV with a 31-year-old female driver who was transported to the hospital in critical condition.
A driver and passenger in the pickup truck were treated for minor injuries.
It was reported that one child was removed from the vehicle by a witness. Police stated that one child was buckled in, but did not say whether either children were in car seats.
Cedar Park police say the 8-year-old, Elijah, was a student at Winkley Elementary School. Leander ISD released a statement and the Principal of Winkley Elementary sent a letter home to parents advising them that one of their students died in a car accident.
Our school community is grieving the loss, and we extend our
deepest sympathy to the family. – Donna Brady
The letter provides parents with ways to help their children to cope with death, as suggested by the National Association of School Psychologists. They suggest maintaining a normal routine, avoiding euphemisms, and watching for changes in their child’s behavior, among other things.
The school says there will be resources and additional counseling support for staff and students “for as long as necessary.”
Writer, Cyclist Killed While Changing Tire
Family and friends mourn the loss of cyclist Andrew Tilin. A well-known cyclist was struck by a truck Saturday morning while changing a flat tire on the side of the road. Tilin was best known for writing a book about how supplemental testosterone affected his bike racing performance. Saturday when the crash occurred, Tilin was riding along RM 620 with a group of cyclists from Grupo VOP.
A collision between a pickup truck and a car caused the truck to spin out of control and into Tilin.
Following the collision on Marshall Ford Road and North FM 620 Rd, Tilin was transported to Round Rock Medical Center. A woman in her 20s was also transported to Round Rock Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.
The crash occurred at around 9 am Saturday morning.
According to a commenter on mystatesman.com, the road tends to get slick at that intersection when it begins to rain. They continued “A few months ago someone was airlifted out due to a head-on collision. Now this. At what point will TXDot figure out they need to do something?” Read more about the crash here.
A community mourns the loss of beloved cyclist and father, Andrew Tilin
Tilin leaves behind two children, among other loved ones including a girlfriend of 4 years and an ex-wife. He was a prominent member in the Austin cycling community after moving to the city in 2011.
The loss of this Austin writer and freelancer is the first death in one of Austin’s longest running club rides, Grupo VOP.
In his cycling career, Tilin took testosterone legally as part of hormone replacement therapy. His book “The Doper Next Door” outlines his experience during the year of his treatment. The steroids, he says, made him a faster rider and stronger on the bike. But he did not enjoy how they made him feel moody and caused friction between him and his cycling friends.