Man missing for six days killed in crash

CROCKETT COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) – A man reported missing last week, after family members believe he traveled to Austin, was killed in a head-on collision Friday afternoon.

William P. Abel, 39, was reported missing after he did not show up for his daughter’s wedding in New Braunfels. Police believed he was driving to Austin to collect a gambling debt on May 17, and that was the last time family members heard from him.

According to DPS, Abel was driving south on State Highway 137 about 20 miles south of Big Lake when he crashed his 2004 Chevrolet Silverado head-on into an 18-wheeler. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

Leslie Schaffer described her father as a great guy. Abel was supposed to walk his daughter down the aisle and give her away on the day he went missing.

“Everybody is upset, angry, sad. We don’t know what to feel,” Schaffer told KXAN last week. “Like I said, he’s went away before, but he’s contacted at least one person, like his mother. But we’re just worried, because no one has heard from him.”

Police say he was reportedly meeting with a person, known only as ‘Ray,’ about a gambling debt.

Several calls to his cellphone went straight to voicemail, according to police.

Abel’s family says he did not have medical or mental issues and was not taking any type of prescription medication. 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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