Three who died in SH 71 collision identified

Austin

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Officials are warning people to check their tire pressure and tread depth after three people died when a Ford Mustang lost control on State Highway 71 Saturday. 

Maribel Enriquez, 17, as well as 71-year-old Preben Hammer and 68-year-old Alice Hammer, died following the collision east of Bee Cave, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The 17-year-old was driving east in her Ford Mustang on wet roads when the car slid across multiple lanes and crashed into a Mercedes-Benz E320. The Hammers were passengers in the Mercedes. 

“It’s kinda a lot,” said Enriquez’s older brother, Miguel Estrada. “You never expect a sibling to go.’

He said his sister lived and breathed soccer and played at Marble Falls High School. 

“She was a really good soccer player. That was her goal. Aspirations. She wanted to [go to] college and [was] all for it.”

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with the funeral expenses. Restaurants Enriquez worked at — the Bluebonnet Cafe and Super Taco — are raising funds as well. 

Estrada said the siblings are now left with memories that still make them laugh. “She was getting ready,” Estrada told us about one recent morning. “She was the happiest she could be, getting ready, putting her hat on, putting on her fanny pack. We all liked to wear fanny packs here in the family!”

She’s also leaving behind a 10-month-old sheepdog named Nicole. The siblings told us Nicole is Enriquez’s middle name. “That’s going to be one of the big memories. Take care of her,” Estrada said.

Enriquez’s other brother was also seriously injured in the crash. DPS says the driver of the Mercedes-Benz is in critical condition.

Marble Falls Independent School District sent a statement. “This will be a very difficult time for our Mustang Family and we are focusing our efforts on supporting the family, friends, and community as we grieve this terrible loss.”

Preben Hammer was originally from Denmark, where he met his wife Alice, from Illinois, according to their obituaries. They moved to the United States in 1981 and settled in Austin in 2014, where Preben served on the Building and Fire Code Board of Appeals and Alice served on the Bond Oversight Commission. They also volunteered in the community, and loved spending time with family.

No charges have been filed in this case, DPS says.

It added that “ensuring your tires are properly inflated and your tires are at the proper tread depth are imperative to maintaining good traction on wet roadways.” A simple way to check if your tires are worn down is to take a penny and place it in the tread. If you can see Abraham Lincoln’s entire head, the tire should be replaced.

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