Freezing Rain Leads to Auto-Fatality and Dozens of Accidents - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


Freezing Rain Leads to Auto-Fatality and Dozens of Accidents


An Austin girl is dead as a result of slick road conditions caused by the blast of winter weather Central Texas saw Friday morning.

DPS responded to an accident where 16-year-old Vanessa Sanchez was killed, and seven others were injured as dozens of other wrecks were reported due to the icy weather.

At one point, the Bell County Sheriff's Department said they were handling up to 25 accidents along Highway 190 between Killeen and I-35, while the Temple Police Department reported close to 30 accidents, all caused by this most recent blast of ice.

"It's very scary," Belton resident Latoya Scott said. "It makes me want to hurry up and go home."

With temperatures dipping down to below freezing, conditions quickly became hazardous on many roads, bridges and overpasses throughout Bell County and surrounding areas.

"Just wet and icy," Bell County resident Melissa Hess said. "Some spots are slick once you get closer to the bridges. People just need to slow down to take better caution."

As the conditions worsened, traffic began to back up on major highways with many roads crippled by the freezing rain and closed down to single lanes only.

"Of course, I'm still cautious, and I just try not to drive too fast because I remember earlier they said it might be ice on the roads," Scott said.

A multi-car pileup occurred on I-35, south of Salado, where one girl was killed in a rollover accident after she was ejected from her vehicle. With temperatures expected to stay below freezing throughout the night, officials are urging drivers to simply stay off the roads.

"Best thing to do under these conditions is, number one, just don't drive, but if you have to, slow down, give plenty of distance between the other and watch the other driver," Bell County Sheriff's Department spokesman Donnie Adams said.

Numerous businesses closed, and many schools let out early to try and get a jump on the winter weather as crews ventured out to do their best in clearing the roads before they refroze.

"We're hoping after the weather is like it is right now that folks realize that the roads are bad and slow down or stay off the roads," Adams said. "We'll get people off the roads and get them home safely, and we'll be in good shape."

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