Officials said a man driving a Jetta southbound on Highway 181 attempted to pass another vehicle in a no-passing zone about 5:30 p.m. when his vehicle collided with a northbound sedan, resulting in an elderly couple’s deaths.
Although this wreck remains under investigation, it occurred in an area which is becoming known as one of the most dangerous in the state, according to the Texas Public Safety Risk Overview from the Department of Public Safety.
In fact, also on this week’s front page of the Karnes Countywide are accounts of a pedestrian seriously injured after being hit by a minivan on Kenedy’s Main Street on April 5 and a four-vehicle collision near Hobson on U.S. 181 which claimed the life of a Pleasanton man on April 2.
In the San Antonio Express-News Business Sunday section, the lead story noted that the DPS identifies the “core” of the Eagle Ford Shale play among the worst, with total crashes increasing by alarming rates.
Among those most at risk are drivers in Karnes, LaSalle and Dimmit counties, as well as in DeWitt, McMullen, Webb and Zavala.
Karnes County Judge Barbara Shaw said one recent accident involved a pickup driver who fell asleep and hit both an 18-wheeler and a school bus; fortunately, no one was injured.
“When you put your kids on the bus to school, you should not have to worry,” Shaw said.
A state transportation association official, discussing the large truck traffic, said, “We have distracted driving. You’re passing in no-passing lanes. You’re trying to do other things inside the vehicle. We’re our own worst enemy.”
A DPS sergeant noted a number of factors play into the increase in accidents in the region, including deteriorating roads and increasing impatience as drivers encounter long lines at stoplights. He’s noticed an uptick in traffic and accidents in Karnes, Frio and Atascosa counties.
He encouraged drivers to make safety checks on their vehicles, slow down, drive defensively, get plenty of rest and pay attention to the highway signs.
If and when Bee Countians are driving north, be uber vigilant and patient. It’s much better to arrive at your destination an hour late than never to arrive at all.
– Chip Latcham