By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
Two unrelated crashes on RM 2222 on Feb. 26 left a 28-year-old motorcycle driver dead near McNeil Drive and sent six people to hospitals after a gravel truck plowed through the Jester Boulevard intersection. Traffic was backed up all day after the two morning accidents. A local resident suffered a concussion after his Honda was pushed through the Jester/2222 intersection by a dump truck’s brakes failed.
The Travis County Medical Examiner’s office identified the motorcyclist as Samuel Michael Wakeman.
The crash happened on Feb. 26 in the 9500 block of RM 2222, not far from Vandegrift High School, just over the top of the hill, said Chad Martinka, Austin Police Cpl.
Minutes earlier around 9:45 a.m. a constable near Steiner Ranch saw Wakeman’s motorcycle pass at a high rate of speed on RM 620. The constable tried to pursue but could not catch up to Wakeman and last saw him turn onto RM 2222, Martinka said.
APD crash reports indicate that Wakeman came upon a driver on RM 2222 going slowly or stopped when the collision happened. Limited visibility combined with excessive speed could have been a contributing factor in the crash, according to APD.
Gravel truck crash
About an hour earlier, a second Friday morning crash occurred on RM 2222 when a dump truck filled with gravel plowed through a red light at the busy Jester Boulevard intersection. The truck damaged several vehicles before heading off the road and down some 20 feet to land in a creek bed before catching on fire.
A crash report released Monday states that the crash was caused by brake failure.
One vehicle slammed into a utility pole during the crash.
Six people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, Martinka said. At least one of the injured is a Four Points resident.
Cookie Bandel’s dashboard camera video captured the accident. She was at the red light waiting to turn left went the accident happened. Minutes later she told the police about the recording and they picked up a thumb drive and said it would “make the investigation so much easier.”
Before the crash, Bandel was behind the dump truck then he pulled over to let her pass. “He seemed to be having some trouble because he was going real slow,” Bandel said.
She told KXAN, “It seemed obvious that there was something, some problem because he pulled over and the truck was bouncing… he waved me by and I acknowledged him… (going) down a steep hill.”
The owner of the gravel truck, Marco Franco, told KXAN later that his driver was delivering a load from Georgetown to a location on Jester Boulevard when the crash happened.
After the crash, Bandel said she and other drivers ran over to help the people involved in the accident. She said three men jumped into the creek bed and pulled the driver out before the cab caught on fire.
Four Points resident in crash
The silver Honda in the right turn lane was the first car at the intersection that the dump truck plowed into.
The driver, who lives in the Preserve at Four Points and doesn’t want to be identified, had just dropped off his child for daycare at the Children’s Center of Austin located in Jester and was waiting for a chance to enter RM 2222 traffic going west. He never saw the red dump truck coming up behind him.
He woke up five hours later in the hospital looking at his wife and wondered why he was there. He has no memory of the event, or of dropping off his child, or even earlier that day.
Doctors indicated that he had a concussion. He is very shaken up and very sore all over his body. He has several lacerations including many on his scalp from all the glass that broke during the accident.