First on scene helped man who was struck by vehicle

Jason Flores Garces, middle, and some of his Affordable Tree Trimming crew were the first on the scene to help the man who was hit by a driver on RM 620 near Mansfield Dam on April 11.

By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News

A man in his 30s was struck by a vehicle on RM 620, just south of Mansfield Dam, on April 11 around 9 p.m. His body was discovered first by a Steiner Ranch resident.

Jason Flores Garces and his Affordable Tree Trimming crew had just finished their last job for the day, a case of oak wilt in Lakeway.

“We were taking (the tree) down and had two trucks and a trailer,” Garces said. Three brothers, some cousins and a brother-in-law all work together at Affordable Tree Trimming.

They were on RM 620 close to Mansfield Dam when they spotted something on the right side of the road.

“My brother saw something on the side of the road as we were passing,” Garces said. Another member of the crew thought it was a box and maybe fell out of the back of a truck, but another said he thought it was a body. They went back.  They used their flashlights like a strobe and directed cars to go around. Another car pulled over to help.

“I got close to him. His head was open (cut) and he was in a bad situation,” Garces said.

There was a cell phone on the ground, and some car parts including a mirror and shavings from the side of a door near the man. There was a Modelo near the scene too. It appeared that the force of the impact knocked the hat off of the man and also one tennis shoe, Garces said.

They found him laying on the right side. The accident likely happened in the right lane and the man was knocked off to the side on the shoulder, Garces said.

Between five and eight minutes later, the Travis County Sheriff’s Office arrived with two patrols there. Garces said he would have gotten his medical bag out to help but one of the TCSO officers told him that they needed to wait for medically trained first responders.

When the Department of Public Safety officer arrived, he asked Garces to help him with the injured man.

“(The victim) was not responsive and breathing really hard and his jaw was locked shut,” Garces said. “We moved his head a little more so he could breathe better. He (DPS) asked me to hold his head while he was working and pushing a tube down his mouth.”

The ambulance came.

Garces continued to help by shining his flashlight over the area as Austin-Travis County EMS workers concentrated on administering aid.

“I put the light on their (equipment), on him and where ever they needed it,” Garces said.

The patient was taken to St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center with critical, life-threatening injuries. As of presstime, the identity of the man had not been released.

The DPS officer invited Garces to clean up with sanitizer at his truck.

“Our trucks are big and have big lights, I think that is how we were able to see him,” Garces said.

At first the case was called a hit and run, according to DPS, but later the driver contacted Travis County Sheriff’s. According to reports, a friend told the driver that there was police activity near where he had driven. The driver told a DPS trooper that he drove away from the scene because he didn’t know he had hit anything.

A driver hit a man on Wednesday near Mansfield Dam. CBS Austin