*UPDATE 8:15 pm 12/30/15*
One man is dead after an auto/motorcycle crash on Steck Ave making this the 100th traffic death in 2015.
#atxtraffic APD is investigating a traffic fatality in the 2700 blk Steck Ave roadway is currently shut down both directions WC3— Austin Police Dept (@Austin_Police) December 31, 2015
Travis Count EMS is reporting that the deceased is a male in his 20s.
Authorities closed the road in both directions to investigate the accident.
2015 has turned out to be Austin's deadliest year on record for traffic fatalities. Just Wednesday morning, two car wrecks put the death toll at 99.
Even experienced police officers find the number hard to believe.
“The numbers are extraordinarily high compared to any previous year we've ever had,” Cpl. Chad Martinka said.
Last year the death toll was 63. This year the death toll nearly doubled.
“It's been unreal. It's been something we haven't experienced, nothing we've ever seen before,” Martinka said.
Wednesday morning's two crashes brought the number to 99. A crash along Barton Springs Road killed a woman, and just more than three hours later, a man on the I-35 NB service road.
Chip Fennema recently relocated to Denver from Austin. The news doesn't surprise him.
“I wish I could say it did, but with the amount of cars on the road nowadays it's an unfortunate problem,” he said.
Fennema spent ten years in Austin, and also attended Texas State in San Marcos. He believes there are more cars are on the roads now.
“It was still a feasible task, getting to work or getting home from school. It definitely picked up during the time I was in school,” he said.
The city has kept records of traffic fatalities since 1985. The numbers have gone up and down, but they have never surged this high. With more than 100 people continuing to move to Austin every day, current and former residents like Fennema just hope the city can keep up, and always make safety on the roads a priority.
“I wish I could say throw in another highway but it's such a big task,” Fennema said.
“We've got this many more people moving into the city every day. We're going to have more crashes and unfortunately more fatalities,” Martinka said.
APD says auto-pedestrian deaths were included in this toll. That number sits at 30.