TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Family members and friends of the driver killed Sunday night when his car slammed into a tree in the Steiner Ranch area are mourning the loss of their loved one. Community members say they’re mourning alongside them.
The report came in after 9:30 p.m. A caller said a man was pinned in his car and unconscious in the 4200 block of Quinlan Park Road, near Ranch to Market 620, and just north of Steiner Ranch Boulevard.
Officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety identified the victim as San Marcos native Jon-Erik Cameron Williams, 28. According to DPS reports, witnesses said the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed before impact.
When Austin-Travis County EMS medics arrived, they said they extracted Williams from his car and began resuscitation efforts, but he was later pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was inside the car.
Tom Henry has lived in Steiner Ranch the past 11 years. He says Sunday’s tragedy is another death that hits too close to home for this tight-knit community.
“It’s heart wrenching. It’s happened too frequently for all of us,” said Henry. “We have seen several accidents here on this very road. I’ve seen flip overs that my wife and I have actually gone inside of the cars and pulled out children who are upside down in their car seats. [It’s] nothing that you want to really see very frequently.”
Since 2012, more than 250 traffic crashes have been reported on RM 620 between Quinlan Park Road and Ranch to Market 2222. Henry says the crashes relate to traffic coming in from 620 and although he says he understands each crash has its own contributing factors, he believes there’s list of improvements that Steiner Ranch needs to act on sooner rather than later.
“There are commonalities out here that we should take into consideration. It is a dark area. It’s not downtown Austin, where it’s flat. People who come out who are not familiar with the neighborhood don’t really understand the topography that they have to deal with,” explained Henry. “The light situations. The signal situations. They all need to be taken into consideration and those are all areas that we think can be improved upon.”
TxDOT plans to address mobility and safety concerns at RM 620 and RM 2222. The project will add a bypass lane and make improvements to the intersection as a whole.
In September, construction is scheduled to begin for a traffic signal at Steiner Ranch Boulevard. TxDOT officials said the signal will help with heavy traffic on RM 620 during peak hours. It will be synchronized with the signal light at nearby Comanche Trail.
“We are desperate to see some action from our civic representatives, our local representatives. End this tragedy,” said Henry. “We’re going to do everything that we can to do the changes within our power to keep this from happening again.”
If you’re interested in contributing financially to help Williams’ family pay for funeral expenses, visit the GoFundMe page they’ve set up online.