Deadly crash near Austin airport causes major traffic delays

A deadly crash near the Austin airport caused major traffic delays resulting in many people missing flights.

The crash happened shortly before 6 a.m. on the eastbound side of State Highway 71 between 183 and Spirit of Texas Drive.

Officials tell FOX 7 Austin that a motorcycle collided with another vehicle and that when medics arrived the motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene.

"The motorcyclist was unconscious. When our paramedics got onto the scene, they did everything they could, but ultimately their efforts were unsuccessful and they pronounced the patient deceased," said Capt. Christa Stedman with Austin-Travis County EMS.

No other injuries were reported.

The crash caused traffic to be backed up for hours and as eastbound traffic was routed onto 183 and westbound traffic was delayed due to people looking at the crash.


*Drivers said that what normally would be a 20 or 30-minute drive to the airport turned into being stuck in traffic for nearly three hours.

"We booked a really early morning cab and we missed our flight," said Amit Rathi, who was flying home to San Diego.

Some people missed their flight despite ditching their car and walking.

"The freeway coming here was completely bare. Like there was nobody. We were walking in the middle of the freeway coming here," said Zoe, who was headed to South Dakota for a funeral.

"We could see a lot of people like walking on the roads with their luggage because a lot of people like us missed their flights," said Divya Rathi, who was flying home to San Diego.

All this happened just six weeks after a similar traffic nightmare, also caused by a deadly crash on SH 71.

"There are no TXDOT plans to expand 71 that we know of," said ABIA spokesperson Elizabeth Ferrer. "So for now we're just going to have to always pay attention to what's going on with traffic."

Notably, most airlines are not responsible for compensating passengers in situations like this, but airport officials say it’s worth a shot.

"If you are proactive with contacting your airline, they're much more likely to work with you than if you wait till you're on the road and stuck and are missing your flight," said Ferrer.