Officials look at cost of convenience for SH 130 after fatal accident

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by MORGAN CHESKY / KVUE News and Photojournalist MATT OLSEN

kvue.com

Posted on November 12, 2012 at 11:32 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 13 at 5:57 PM

MUSTANG RIDGE, Texas - On a stretch of road known for its record speed limit, it's a tragedy some say was only a matter of time. 

Lori Murrieta's drive to work on State Highway 130 takes just a few minutes. What she saw on Sunday afternoon will stay with her much longer.

"I don't know how anybody could have survived," Murrieta admitted. "I mean the car was just completely crushed."
 
Mustang Ridge police say it happened when a Chevy Tahoe collided with a Honda Civic as it merged onto the highway. Starflight took the two inside the Tahoe to a hospital. The other driver was killed by the impact. 

Inside that Honda was Martha Harris, known by friends as Melinda. She was a longtime Lockhart resident who spent her days taking care of the elderly as a nurse in San Marcos. Her husband Bill told KVUE News Monday evening that Martha was coming back from visiting friends in Austin.

Married for 28 years, he described his wife saying, "She loved people and was a good honest woman who let you know exactly where you stood with her. I'll miss her laughter the most. She was my best friend." 

In Lockhart the news of Martha's passing fell hard. The town's now nearly split by the toll road.

"My truck is set at 65 miles-per-hour," said truckdriver Robbie Bogan. "That's a safe speed. You save fuel, and most of all you save lives."
 
Police won't say if excess speed caused the accident, only confirming animals did not.

Mustang Ridge police are investigating the accident alongside DPS. A memorial service for Harris is set for 2 p.m. Tuesday. Those wishing to pay their respects can go to the Texas Nursing Home in San Marcos.

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