AUSTIN (KXAN) — A driver who is accused of driving at a high rate of speed through a barricaded area where construction workers were working has been charged with evading arrest.
On Sept. 19, around 9:15 p.m., Austin police received a call about a driver, identified as Willie Williams, 39, on the wrong side of the marked barricades going southbound on North MoPac near Northwood Road. According to an arrest affidavit, Williams was seen driving at least 60 mph passing “construction vehicles with emergency lights activated.”
Officers said they tried to pull him over “before a worker was struck and killed” but he continued going southbound moving closer to a large construction crew, continued in the affidavit. Police say the suspect exited at Westover Road, where he proceeded to run a stop sign. The officers were finally able to get him to stop after he was blocked in by patrol cars and other construction vehicles.
Williams is currently in the Travis County Jail charged with evading arrest and reckless driving.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2016, there were more than 25,000 crashes in construction work zones resulting in nearly 180 deaths. In 2013, state lawmakers passed a bill requiring drivers to move over or slow down 20 miles below the speed limit as they approach work zones.