Overnight storms trap couple in RV and may have contributed to cement truck crash

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Jody Rhoades and her husband Carl had a rough night as the rain and wind took its toll on the Oak Forest RV Park in Austin.

“The trailer was rocking some. But one time it just felt like it was up on two sides of the wheels, the water was coming in the trailer it was raining so hard,” Jody Rhoades said.

“It wasn’t hitting ours broadside like it did this one. If we would have been parked broadside we would have been gone,” said Carl Rhoades

The Rhoades’ neighbors ended up being trapped in their RV. Joseph Huizar drove in around 1 to high water and limbs blowing down the road. He saw that RV flipped over.

He and another neighbor ran to check on the couple who lives inside.

“He started knocking on the roof side, I started knocking on the undercarriage side and I could hear the lady screaming saying ‘yeah we’re in here, we’re in here!’” Huizar said.

Huizar and the neighbor asked them if they were hurt.

“She goes ‘I’m fine but he’s pinned!’ She goes ‘He can’t get out, I can’t get the dresser off of him.’ Apparently when it flipped, the bed fell on him and the dresser fell on the bed,” he said.

The Austin Fire Department posted photos of the rescue on social media saying “this is what happens when you get straight line winds, more than 4 inches of rain and approximately 2,000 flashes of lightning.”

“They got the woman out through the top exit, emergency exit. She was able to climb out but the husband couldn’t. So they ended up having to cut the roof of the RV,” Huizar said.

“It was an experience that I don’t know if I’d ever want to go through again. I told him we are so blessed that nothing happened to us,” Jody Rhoades said.

In a separate incident, crews in Leander spent much of Monday morning trying to get a cement truck out of a water retention pond on 183 and FM 2243. Leander Police say around 5am a pickup truck hit the cement truck sending it into the water. The pickup driver, Jessie Sanchez was cited for failure to control speed.

“The driver of the pickup truck says that he believes his light was red. He was trying to stop is my understanding but again because of the weather conditions; slippery, wet and his speed. He just wasn’t able to make that complete stop,” said Sgt. Carlos Villareal.

The driver of the cement truck, Jessie Martinez was able to get out after the crash. He was taken to a hospital and is expected to be ok. 

Williamson County Hazmat says the cement truck lost about 80 gallons of diesel.

After cutting a hole in the side of the truck, clean-up crews used a vacuum to suck out about 80,000 pounds of powdered cement because Hazmat says they’ve got to get that stuff out of there before they can pull the truck out of the water.

The truck was finally pulled from the water around 2 Monday afternoon.

“If it says 50 and it’s raining as hard as it was last night, slow down to 40. There’s no need to try to drive the same speed,” Sgt. Villareal said.

The Austin Fire Department says at one point last night they were working more than 50 downed wires and 25 public service calls. The fire department says the man in his 70’s who was pinned in his RV has serious but not life threatening injuries.