Fatalities in the Eagle Ford area have more than doubled
The Texas Department of Public Safety meets today with oil companies and local government officials in the Eagle Ford Shale region southeast of San Antonio to try to come up with ways to deal with a boom in highway crashes involving commercial vehicles, 1200 WOAI's Joshua Cook reports.
"It has doubled, maybe even tripled," Trooper Jason Reyes told 1200 WOAI news. "Fatality crashes have doubled, and our CMV (Commercial Motor Vehicle) crashes have doubled. The numbers speak for themselves."
Officials cite a number of problems which are contributing to the scary increase in car wrecks in the boom area. The major contributor is the sudden flood of large vehicles into an area which isn't used to stoplights, let along several people lined up at a stop light.
"This kinda happened overnight for us," Reyes said. "We knew this would happen, but we didn't expect it to happen this fast. We're trying to make adjustments as quickly as possible."
But it takes years to build the types of roads which are needed to deal with the boom, which has brought thousands of newcomers to the region, and flooded the once quiet area with the roar of big trucks.
"We're asking people to be patient with our commercial vehicles," Reyes said. "We're asking people to take a deep breath and we're going to get ahold of this."
Local residents say the problem is the large number of big trucks which don't respect the rules of the road. But indications are that long time locals and newcomers behind the wheel of 18 wheelers and oil field vehicles are equally at fault.