Merkel police respond to 7 crashes in 24 hours, one fatality

MERKEL, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Merkel Police Department shared that the much-needed rain has spiked motor vehicle accidents in the area. In the past 24 hours, Merkel Police have responded to seven accidents, including one fatality.

Speed and road conditions are suspected to have played a factor in all of the accidents.

The following crash occurred on Saturday, March 16:

  • 11:24 a.m. – Single Vehicle Rollover Accident – Minor Injuries

  • 12:45 p.m. – Single Vehicle Accident – Minor Injuries

  • 1:06 p.m. – Single Vehicle Accident – Minor Injuries

  • 5:30 p.m. – Single Vehicle Accident – Minor Injuries

  • 11:05 p.m. – Single Vehicle Rollover Accident – Minor Injuries

On Sunday, March 17, at 9:13 a.m., a five-vehicle crash occurred, causing minor injuries. According to police, a vehicle traveling eastbound lost control and went into the westbound lanes. The crash included many vehicles and a 19-wheeler, with minor injuries reported.

At 10:44 a.m., a single-vehicle rollover occurred between mile markers 269 and 270, east of Metal Mart. According to a preliminary investigation, the driver of a vehicle exiting the roadway appeared to lose control and overcorrect, causing the vehicle to roll over. The driver, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the vehicle.

First responders administered live-saving measures, but the driver, identified as 25-year-old Stephen Williams of Abilene, was pronounced dead at the scene. It is unknown if alcohol or speed is a factor, and this incident remains under investigation.

The Merkel Police Department released the following PSA:

“The Merkel Police Department urges drivers to please slow down when our area road conditions deteriorate. Interstate travel can become increasingly hazardous when the roadway has not seen rain over a period of time. Oils and road sediments that become wet cause the roadways to be just as slick as black ice in some areas. Additionally, please do not engage your cruise control when driving on wet roadways, this can also cause unexpected accelerations, on slick roadways, causing drivers to lose control of their vehicles.”

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