AUSTIN, Texas - Just one hour into Memorial Day, police lights could be seen on Mopac near the Wells Branch exit in North Austin. Austin-Travis County EMS tells Fox 7 New that a man in his 30's was hit by a car.
He was taken to Round Rock Medical Center with potentially critical injuries. Authorities believe the man had car problems and got out of the car to check on things when he was struck.
Authorities believe the man was originally in a car that had broken down on the highway.
Memorial Day weekend is known to be a dangerous one. Fortunately, the man in this incident survived.
"That's something that could come up for anybody, anytime. It's something where you should be really aware of your surroundings. If you can get out of the way to a safer spot, a parking lot or even a wider shoulder, that's ideal. If there's no shoulder and no options for that, it's probably safest to just stay in your car and call for help," said Nic Moe, Vision Zero ATX.
Moe said this is a perfect example of why the City of Austin has a program in place called Vision Zero. Their goal is to reduce traffic crash deaths and serious injuries to zero by 2025.
"What they're looking at right now especially, is a lot of the design of our roadways. Something that relates to highways, is making sure that we have appropriate speeds. Make sure that people are going a speed at which they can react appropriately but also making sure people have safe spaces to get off of the roadways," said Moe.
It's not just Austin. Just two hours into Memorial Day, there was a deadly crash on I20 in Arlington.Police said an SUV was traveling eastbound when it hit a guardrail and rolled several times. The driver was ejected and died on scene. According to witnesses, the female passenger ran to try and help the man but was struck by a passing vehicle which fled the scene. Police said the driver has since contacted them and is cooperating with investigators.
"If something does happen we want you to be able to stop, to be able to render aid if possible and to be able to tell your side of what was going on. It definitely helps with the investigation and in a lot of cases, can help save someone's life," said Moe.
The Texas Department of Transportation says last year there were 38 fatalities across the state, in 2015 there were 51.