Neighbors say speeding semi-trucks are a safety concern in East Austin

Homeowners on East 12th Street said semi-trucks speeding through their neighborhood are creating a safety issue. 

In fact, on Sunday, one big rig took out a utility pole, hit a fence and rolled over onto one woman’s front yard. 

“It could've been really tragic,” said Mary Swist, who was inside her home, making lunch for her grandchildren when she heard the commotion outside. 

“It was the worst sound that you could ever hear,” she added.  

Swist said her granddaughter was getting out of the car when a semi-truck came barreling towards her, hitting the car, a fence, and a utility pole. 

“She saw the pole flying over her,” said Swist.  

Luckily, no one was seriously injured, but it solidified what Swist and her neighbors have been uneasy about for the past three months. That’s when they started noticing an increase in big rigs driving too fast down the once quiet residential street. 

“We could sit here for 20 minutes and easily we'll get a dozen trucks,” said Javier Orlando, who lives across the street from Swist. 


Get breaking news alerts in the FOX 7 Austin News app. It is FREE!

Download for iOS or Android


“Almost since the trucks been running, I just knew that this was going to eventually happen and it did,” Swist said.  

“There's easily half a dozen schools within a half a mile area of here and a lot of these homes have families with kids, I have a pet, and stuff that are walking through this neighborhood all the time. And if it weren't for us knowing this area and being cautious, I mean we would be plowed through,” said Orlando.  

Sunday's close call has long-time neighbors like Swist begging for changes before someone gets hurt. 

“Put some signs up, speed limit signs, and the police,” Swist said. 

For her family's sake, Swist said she can't wait much longer for the city's help. 

“It has to stop. I'm even considering moving now, just selling out and getting on out of here, because traffic is just too much. But I love it, this is East Austin, it's my home, and I like it over here, but I don't like it enough to see my grandchildren hurt or my house torn up or something,” said Swist. “I've been here 23 years and never had anything to happen or scare me to that manner. First time and I hope it's the last."

Councilwoman Natasha Harper Madison who represents District 1, which includes East 12th Street, responded with this statement: 

"The number of deaths and serious injuries we see so regularly on Austin's streets is beyond unacceptable. It's time we as a municipality stop talking about safety and start doing something about it. From education, to enforcement, to engineering, we need to spend our limited resources more creatively and effectively to protect everyone who uses our transportation system whether they're on rubber tires or rubber soles."