3 Round Rock teens killed in crash on SH 71

Chris Nelson/KXAN

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Three teenagers from Round Rock were killed when the car they were in collided with a charter bus early Sunday morning. The crash happened at about 12:15 a.m. on State Highway 71 and Fall Creek Road, near the Travis-Blanco County line.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said the car — a Chevrolet Cobalt — was turning left off of Fall Creek Road onto SH 71 when it failed to yield the right of way to a bus heading eastbound on SH 71. DPS says the bus collided with the left side of the Cobalt.

Witnesses told police the Cobalt did not have its headlights turned on at the time of the crash.

DPS said that all of the women in the car died at the scene. They were identified by as 18-year-old June Marie Smith, who was driving the Cobalt, and two passengers: Isabella Torres, 17, and Taylor Nicole Mendez, 17.

Nobody on the bus was seriously injured. The bus driver was transported to a hospital as a precaution.

Huston-Tillotson University confirmed the charter bus was carrying 15-20 members of the baseball team. They were on their way back to Austin from Hobbs, New Mexico, after playing at an away game.

Kathleen Henderson says the worst part about this is that this has happened before. For four years, her outdoor market has faced SH 71, and she says that deadly crashes are common.

“There’s so many young kids on the road for the first time. There’s older folks. There’s a lot of weekenders. It’s just a terrible recipe,” said Henderson. “Where in the world do you drive home at night and you have to stop in the middle of a 70-mile-per-hour freeway to turn into your street.”

She hopes a planned traffic light installation on the corner of SH 71 and Fall Creek Road comes sooner rather than later.

“It was supposed to be April to August when they do it. But I hope they do it April — as now,” she said.

The crash remains under investigation.

 

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