Two women face jail time after STAR Flight rescue

20-year-old Shelby Haney and 22-year-old Marissa Elaine Roberts are facing charges after STAR Flight was called in to rescue them during Thursday's storms. The charges cap off what turned out to be a very busy and potentially dangerous night for first responders.

STAR Flight was called out to Bitting School Road in Elgin on two different occasions Thursday.

The first  was to save a woman whose car was swept away at a low-water crossing. First responders then put barricades went up to stop anyone else from traveling on the road. A few hours later the woman's daughter and her friend went back to the car to get something out of it. STAR Flight was called out to rescue them.

STAR Flight paramedic Brian Hoffower and his crew were called out four different times on Thursday night, they rescued six people, including Haney and Roberts.

"What we found was one victim stranded on the road, but surrounded by swift water, and unable to get out. The second victim was holding onto a pole in the middle of some pretty fast moving swift water," Hoffower said.

Roger Wade, of the Travis County Sheriff's Office, explains how they got there.

"They decided it was imperative that they get some items out of a car (that was swept away by fast-moving water) so they went back around the barricades and tried to get into the car. At that point they had to be rescued," he said.
Haney and Roberts are now being charged with a crime.

"We want you to understand that when we put up barricades, it is to keep you safe, don't drive around them, and if we can't get that message across with the barricade, we will do it with a summons and filing charges," Wade said.

Charges that police hope will send a message.

"You're actually not just putting your life in danger but the lives of first responders that need to come out and rescue you in danger," Wade said.

Travis County has lost two of its own in the last couple of years. Deputy Jessica Hollis, who was swept away from a low-water crossing, and STAR Flight nurse Kristin McClain, who was killed after falling from the helicopter during a rescue.

"For your sake and for the sake of public service responders who are coming to assist, don't push it, air on the side of caution, and turn around," Hoffower said.

The maximum penalties Haney and Roberts face are 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. The Sheriff's Office is hoping this will serve as a warning to anyone else who thinks about running a barricade.