Wrong-way crash leaves Austin driver in critical condition

Major backup in the wake of the I-35 wrong way crash in New Braunfels (KXAN Photo/ Frank Martinez)
Major backup in the wake of the I-35 wrong way crash in New Braunfels (KXAN Photo/ Frank Martinez)

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas (KXAN) — An Austin woman is in critical condition after driving the wrong-way on Interstate 35 and crashing into a semi truck in New Braunfels, Wednesday morning.

According to New Braunfels police, at around 3:12 a.m., a car traveling northbound on the southbound side of I-35 crashed head-on with a semi in the 4200 block, near Solms Road. Southbound lanes of I-35 were closed while crews work to clear the debris on the road, but the road has now been reopened. “There was a lot of debris from this accident. This car basically totaled the 18 wheeler truck itself,” said New Braunfels Police spokesperson David Ferguson.

A semi-conscious woman was found trapped in the vehicle that slammed into a concrete median. Fire fighters and EMS immediately began work to rescue the woman. She was transported to the San Antonio Military Medical Center with potentially life-threatening injuries.

Police say they began receiving 911 calls about the woman driving the wrong way just minutes before the crash happened. “We were already in route to try and locate that vehicle and get that vehicle stopped before that accident happened and officers were on their way to that general area before officers started getting phone calls that the accident had happened,” said Ferguson.

The driver of the semi was not injured in the crash. He was able to give police his account of what happened.

The New Braunfels Police Department Traffic Unit is investigating how the crash happened. “I think at this point it’s undetermined exactly where she got on the freeway, at that time of morning it could have been a relatively far way away,” said Ferguson.

Police are also looking into what caused her to get on the interstate and travel in the wrong direction. Investigators are looking into all possibilities such as alcohol, drugs, a medical condition or even if mother nature could have played a role. “The foggy conditions may have played a part, that’s certainly something our traffic unit is looking into as they do this investigation,” said Ferguson.

Currently no charges or citations have been issued. “It’s possible that there could be potential charges, but that would be something that would come at a later date,” said Ferguson.

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