Tree trimmer hit by driverless truck killed in Bastrop

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A man is dead after being hit by a truck while trimming trees in Bastrop County Tuesday morning.

Bastrop County ESD No. 2 says crews were dispatched to the corner of Makaha and Ahumoa Drive at 8:25 a.m. That’s in the Tahitian Village. 

When they arrived, a man in his 50s was pronounced dead. The man worked for a local tree trimming company; officials have not released the name of the company. 

Officials say the man was trimming trees, trying to clear the right of way, when a truck somehow went over the barrier, veered off the road and hit the man.

“I saw it was coming fast and just…drew to the left,” said eyewitness Gelacio Merac. 

Merac says construction crews have been out in his neighborhood off and on over the last few weeks preparing to pave the steep hills leading to their homes. This, however, was the first time a tree company was out clearing the sides of the road. Merac says they had just started for the day. 

Neighbors tell KXAN the truck, which had a wood chipper on the back, didn’t roll that far before hitting the man, but picked up speed quickly. They say the man was working on the side of the road when the truck hit him and pushed him to the bottom of the hill. 

“He was working hard, and now he is dead and it’s like, life just changed too quick,” Merac said.

Other workers and neighbors ran to help, but there was nothing they could do. 

“My friend, he didn’t see anything coming out of the truck, so there was nobody in the truck,” said Merac. 

DPS is now investigating how the truck started rolling down the hill. 

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