AUSTIN (KXAN) — In Austin this year, deadly wrecks killed more people outside of cars than those behind the wheel, according to the Austin Police Department (APD).
“It’s actually surpassed the number of motor vehicle fatalities, so motor vehicle versus other motor vehicle,” said Lieutenant William White APD’s Highway Enforcement Command.
While the crashes all had their own unique circumstances, Lt. White said “in most cases what we’re seeing it’s often times on a high-speed roadway, pedestrians are crossing in areas where they’re forbidden to cross, there’s no cross walk.”
Crashes killed two pedestrians in the last week alone. Both of those cases were hit-and-runs.
Family members have identified the victims.
Nelson Anderson, Ben White service road
Nelson Anderson, 20, died in an overnight hit-and-run crash on the 900 block of West Ben White service road on Wednesday, Dec. 14, according to APD.
It happened just after 2 a.m. in the eastbound lanes.
Anderson was taken to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Anderson’s mother Lorianna said he was with friends that night, trying out a new light-up skateboard.
“[The driver] left him there and they left a bunch of scared kids trying to figure out what to do,” she said.
Nelson worked in Austin and was saving up for an apartment for him and his girlfriend.
“His last conversation with his girlfriend was about he dreamed of having a house with a white picket fence and kids, and dreamed of her walking down the aisle,” his mother said. “He just loved family. He loved being the older cousin.”
Investigators believe the car that hit him is a 2003-2008 red Pontiac Vibe.
Cassandra Coffey, Montopolis Drive
Cassandra Coffey died on Friday, Dec. 16.
APD responded to a deadly accident around 2:40 a.m. near the intersection of Montopolis Drive and the Bastrop Highway service road. Police said the crash was between the service road and Del Monte Road.
“Confused. Lost. Angry that somebody would do this,” said her son Jeramiah.
Police said the driver who hit her did not stop. Investigators have no leads as of Tuesday, Dec. 20.
“Whoever did this, if you can see me, stop being a coward, come forward,” said Jeramiah, adding through tears, “I wish I could have been there when she was lying in the cold.”
He said that his mother will be remembered as a supportive woman who offered a safe space for him and his friends growing up.
Anyone with information on the driver or vehicle description in either case should contact the Highway Investigation Tip Line at 512-974-8111. You can submit a tip anonymously through the Capital Area Crime Stoppers Program by visiting austincrimestoppers.org or calling 512-472-8477.