Thanksgiving holiday gets deadly start on roadway

Austin started off the Thanksgiving holiday with three deaths on Austin roadways in 24 hours. One was a child. Officers are lined up along busy travel routes, but they need your help to prevent more tragedy.

Wednesday morning the northbound side of I-35 near Slaughter Lane was shut down as Austin police investigated a fatal crash in which a person attempted to cross the interstate on foot. One vehicle hit them.

Last week a man lost his life attempting to do the same thing near capital plaza.

It's an ongoing problem. Corporal Chad Martinka says officers are ticketing and even arresting people if caught crossing.

"It's something we're having to do where we're pretty much going to zero tolerance because of the fatalities we're dealing with,” said Martinka.

Prior to our interview, Martinka says one of his officers arrested a man walking on I-35 near Parmer.

"He had warned a guy and he came back around and the guy was still there,” said Martinka. "Some people it doesn't matter how many times you arrest them or cite them, they're going to do what they want to do and you can't change that mentality."

Pedestrians on the roadway is one of many violations the highway enforcement unit will be on the lookout for as thanksgiving travel commences.

DPS will join in that effort

"We'll be working day and night to ensure that everyone makes it safe wherever they're planning to go,” said Sgt. Victor Taylor.

During thanksgiving weekend last year troopers issued nearly 29-thousand citations and warnings, made 219 DWI arrests, 127 fugitive arrests and 94 felony arrests.

With 160 thousand more Texans expected to travel this year, those numbers could climb.

"Take your time wherever you're going. What that means is prepare. Have a plan,” said Taylor.

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