City of Austin worker killed in southeast Travis County crash

AUSTIN (KXAN) – A City of Austin worker was killed following a crash involving an 18-wheeler and a pickup truck on FM 973 just north of Highway 71.

The crash happened around 1:15 p.m. Tuesday.

A deadly crash on FM 973 involved a City of Austin truck. (Chris Sadeghi/KXAN)
A deadly crash on FM 973 involved a City of Austin truck. (Chris Sadeghi/KXAN)

The Austin Resource Recovery employee was driving north along the road when he crossed into the southbound lanes and ran into the 18-wheeler. Ernest Gonzales, a 22-year veteran of the department died at the scene.

“I am deeply saddened to hear of the loss of a member of our City of Austin family,” said City Manager Marc Ott. “Our hearts are heavy for those close to Mr. Gonzales, and those fortunate enough to know him.

“We will stand together as an organization and a community to support Mr. Gonzales’ family through this trying time,” Ott added.

The driver of the 18-wheeler had minor injuries and refused a trip to the hospital.

FM 973 just north of Highway 71 was closed for seven hours while crews investigated the crash. 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. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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