Family mourns loss of Austin teenager in icy crash on I-35

Vanessa Sanchez was killed in a crash along Interstate 35 near Salado on Feb. 7.

SALADO, Texas (KXAN) — Eight people were taken to the hospital and an Austin teenager died in a crash on Interstate 35 near Salado, north of Georgetown, Friday morning.

The nine family members were in the process of moving to Dallas when the crash occurred.

Virginia Sanchez, the mother of the girl, was at the wheel of their Chevy Suburban when she says she hit an icy patch on a highway overpass. The car tumbled off the road and down an embankment.

A 16-year-old girl was killed after an icy crash on Interstate 35.
A 16-year-old girl was killed after an icy crash on Interstate 35.

Her daughter, 16-year-old Vanessa Sanchez was thrown free of the Suburban and crushed to death as it rolled over her. She was the only one in the vehicle not wearing a seat belt.

“It’s very important to have a seat belt on,” her aunt, Veronica Sanchez, said. “It’s very important because that’s what happened, I lost my niece.”

The eight other family members were all taken to area hospitals. Four of them, ages ages 2 to 17, were taken to Scott and White Children’s Hospital in Temple. Each one had been treated and released Friday.

A freshman at Westwood High School, Vanessa was a volleyball player and animal lover who hoped to become a veterinarian one day.

Veronica Sanchez said Vanessa was looking forward to the move to Dallas.

“She had a big smile all the time,” Veronica said. “She said, ‘hey I want to go with you to Dallas.’ She was excited to move there and be with me.”

The family move is now postponed indefinitely while they tend to funeral arrangements.

The Texas Department of Transportation tells KXAN they had sand trucks working the area Friday morning but had no way of knowing if that particular overpass was treated. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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