ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – This winter storm has led to some severely icy roads in the Big Country, causing many wrecks and keeping the Abilene Fire Department (AFD) busy. Some locals have spoken out about people driving too fast in these conditions.
One Clyde resident, Jimmy Duff, told KTAB/KRBC speeding seems to be what led to a wreck in front of his home, which his security camera system caught on video:
Duff recalled, “I just saw it sliding off the highway, and I was like, ‘holy cow!'”
Living so close to the busy interstate, Duff said people are constantly getting pulled over in front of his house, because of the speeding problem. When the roads turn icy, it’s easier for them to lose control. This is something he saw when he drove into Abilene.
“I’ve seen a lot of other cars in Abilene, in the ditches and stuff,” Duff began. “If you’ve got a car, there’s no reason to be out in it. I’ve got a truck and it’s still iffy.”
Living just 12 minutes out of town, Jerry Salinas said he wanted to make the trip to check in on his Abilene businesses Tuesday. After just a morning, he had to agree with Duff that people were driving too fast for these slick streets.
“We’ve had people passing us, and we’re driving 10-15 miles per hour,” said Salinas.
With as slick as the roads were Tuesday, Salinas said people need to slow down or just stay home.
“It doesn’t matter what you have, you’re going to slide on the ice,” Salinas warned. “It doesn’t matter what you’re driving.”
Even though Salinas made the drive to town to check on his businesses, it’s first responders who really have to be on the roads. At the Abilene Fire Department, crews have to always be on – especially during weather events like this one.
“This is actually where we’re needed more than most. When the conditions are bad, that’s when we’re at work,” AFD Chief Flores explained, continuing on that the department has stayed busy because of the wrecks.
AFD also told KTAB/KRBC it’s had to deal with a few fires. Chief Flores said those fires were mainly caused by those experiencing homelessness and are just doing their best to stay warm.
Chief Flores said he was concerned his crew may get tired if there are many more calls for service.
“They’re not too tired, but we’re hoping that they don’t get run ragged today, so they get the opportunity to rest,” Chief Flores said.
Chief Flores wanted to encourage people to stay home, or in the words of Salinas, “Slow down, take your time. We’re in Abilene, Texas, you’re in no hurry.”
AFD also implored residents to closely monitor their space heaters. Make sure nothing flammable is anywhere nearby.