AUSTIN, Texas - Two people are dead, including a child, after a horrific rollover crash along Mopac in North Austin Tuesday. It’s renewing calls for drivers to be more careful on our roads, after a record year for traffic fatalities.
"I came by right after the accident," said Robert Boxley, who witnessed the aftermath of the crash. "It was pretty bad."
Police and EMS raced to the scene at Scofield Ridge Parkway and the North Mopac Service Road around 10:30 AM Tuesday. Before they even got there, the news wasn’t good.
"Initial reports that we were getting from 9-1-1 callers were that there was a possible rollover collision with possibly someone that was ejected from one of the vehicles," said Capt. Darren Noak with Austin-Travis County EMS.
Medics arrived to find an adult and child already undergoing CPR.
"Ultimately, after resuscitation efforts on both of the patients, we did obtain two deceased on scene pronouncements. One of those pronouncements was for an adult patient and the other was for a pediatric," said Noak.
A third person involved in the crash refused treatment. It’s still unclear exactly how it happened.
"I think it came off the overpass, which means it kind of got sideways up there because where it was straight out at the end of that island," said Boxley. "I really do think it was there was a little bit of water, the person was driving too fast."
Noak says ATCEMS responds to all too many wrecks—many of them deadly—where people are simply going too fast for the conditions. "Obviously obeying traffic laws and speed limits is paramount, controlling that speed and making adjustments. We’ve got a little bit of sleet and a little bit of rain today," said Noak.
"A lot of people just kind of ignore the fact that 40 means 40, 50 means 50," said Noak.
Overall, 2021 was a record year for fatal wrecks in Austin.
Police reported more than 110 deadly crashes last year, claiming at least 120 lives. "We certainly don't want to start this new year off with the same trend. We can see a reversal in the numbers of traffic fatalities this year," said Noak.
Noak says it’s crucial to stay alert, stay sober, and stay off your phone, and making sure everyone is buckled in safely can save lives by preventing ejections in a crash.
"Obviously we want people to wear seat belts for adults, and the correct car and booster seats for children and infants," said Noak. "It’s not only using them, it’s making sure they’re installed and using them properly."
Austin-Travis County EMS does offer free car seats and booster seats, as well as clinics on how to properly use them.
Tuesday’s crash remains under investigation by Austin Police.