Caldwell Co. residents call for change after deadly crash


by SHANNON MURRAY / KVUE News and Photojournalist JP Harrington

Bio | Email | Follow: @ShannonM_KVUE

Posted on January 19, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Updated Sunday, Jan 19 at 7:42 PM

CALDWELL CO., Texas -- A crash in Caldwell County killed a father and his two sons Saturday morning. It's the second fatal crash at the intersection of FM 1185 and U.S. 183 in the last month.

The lights at the intersection flash red and yellow and there's a stop sign for drivers headed east. People who live there tell KVUE they always take extra caution because if a driver isn't paying attention the result could be deadly.

Just after 9:00 a.m. a FedEx van driving east didn't stop at the red flashing light or stop sign and t-boned a SUV. The impact killed a father and his two sons, ages four and nine. His 2-year-old daughter went to the hospital in serious condition. DPS troopers said no one in the SUV had a seat belt on.

"It is tough. I have a 9-year-old son," said DPS Highway Patrol Sgt. Mike Cantu. "It's tough to come to a scene like this and see what's happened."

A white cross marks the spot where another deadly crash happened in the intersection this month. People who live nearby are calling for change.

"It is dangerous and you have to pay attention," explained resident Sharon Nitz.

Nitz lives on FM 1185 just outside of Lockhart. She said many people use the intersection at U.S. 183 to avoid the toll road.

"The locals do not want to use it so they're going to use that frontage road," she explained.

It's one reason she thinks the stop sign and flashing lights may not be enough and she wants the traffic lights activated.

"People are not going to slow down even though that is a flashing yellow light," she added.

DPS troopers agree and say they plan on talking with TX-DOT about what can be done to keep drivers safe. Sgt. Cantu said one option is possibly making the lights alternate instead of flash.

"A lot of people are moving out this way and I'm afraid that all of the traffic is going to increase a whole lot more," added Nitz.

She hopes something will happen soon before another life is lost.

The FedEx driver did go to the hospital for minor injuries but is doing OK.

The company released a statement Saturday afternoon: "First and foremost, we wish to extend condolences to the families and friends of those involved in today's accident. We are cooperating fully with all authorities investigating the incident, but have no further information to release at this time."