Man killed after pickup truck falls 30 feet off South Austin bridge
Austin's icy roads turned deadly Tuesday night. A man in his 30s to 40s died after his pickup truck plummeted off the side of the Slaughter Lane bridge in South Austin near the Manchaca Road intersection. Another man who was in the truck is in critical condition at St. David's South Medical Center.
Police are still investigating the accident in the 1500 block of Slaughter Lane, but first responders think icy road conditions were most likely a factor.
"As it was going over the bridge that you see here behind me, the train bridge, it lost control and went over the guardrail," said Sgt. Clemens with the Austin Police Department.
The pickup truck fell 30 to 40 feet off the bridge and landed near the train tracks. Austin police are still trying to figure out how the small-sized truck made it over the guardrail.
"There's no indication the vehicle was speeding at this point. Based on witness statements it appears the vehicle was going the same speed as the other vehicles," said Sgt. Clemens.
The Slaughter Lane bridge was treated with de-icing fluid at least once on Tuesday, but as the sun went down hazardous conditions were being reported.
"About 30 minutes prior to this crash we did have another pickup that lost control and spun out on the bridge and that appeared to be weather-related," said Sgt. Clemens.
Trucks can have more problems dealing with icy roads than cars. They are lighter in the back and sometimes drivers will put kitty litter or sand bags in the bed of trucks to give them extra weight.
What caused this accident is still under investigation.
At 9:00 on Tuesday night de-icing chemicals were being spread on the South Austin bridge, but there is still no word on when it will reopen.