KILLEEN, TX — A Friday early morning crash has left an 18-year-old driver dead in Killeen.
The driver in this fatal crash has been identified as Julianna Rae Allen.
At approximately 3:58 am on Friday, April 16, 2021, officers were dispatched to westbound IH-14 in Killeen in reference to a call about a major crash.
When officers arrived on the scene, they located a white sedan on its roof and on fire.
Preliminary investigation revealed the driver was distracted by her cell phone near mile marker 285 when the driver left the roadway while sliding sideways.
The wheels of the vehicle began to dig into the wet ground which eventually caused the vehicle to roll onto the driver's side and struck the "Welcome to Killeen" sign.
The driver succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene by Justice of the Peace Bill Cooke at 5:26 am.
The name of the victim is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
The investigation is ongoing and no other information will be released.
“She was so young, just starting her adult life. Loss is always tragic but when it’s somebody so young and everything leads to signs that it might have been preventable it’s that much more painful,” said Killeen City Councilwoman Mellisa Brown.
18-year old Julianna Allen, lost her life crashing into the “Welcome to Killeen” early this morning. Folks that drive this stretch a lot say she isn’t the first time.
“I’ve actually seen several accidents over the year where people have ran to that time” said Killeen Resident De Andre’ Little.
“I’ve seen at least 3 instances in the past year where the sign has been damaged and needed to be fixed because vehicles hit it," said Brown
A preliminary investigation from Killeen Police Department revealed Allen was distracted by her cell phone, but many think the road itself played a factor.
“This is the ramp at the top of the Rosewood intersection getting up onto I-14. With the weather coming in that’s an area where hydroplaning happens very easily,” said Brown.
“I know it’s a state highway and it’s also interstate highway. For safety reasons that does have to be fixed,” said Little.
Some believe the sign should be moved but, city officials say that’s not a good idea.
“Even with the sign being there, there’s a very large hill that goes down into the access road underneath it. I think that would lead to continued problems and a different set of problems,” said Brown.
Others believe there should be warning signs telling people to “slow down” and “don’t text and drive.” However, everybody agrees something needs to be done.
“There needs to be accountability for the streets and the codes and things that we put into the highway. We all live there and we all drive there. So, everybody needs to be held accountable not just the young lady,” said Little.