AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Police Department identified the two people killed in a fiery crash Friday on Interstate 35 near Buda in south Austin.
Jose Martin Zamarripa, Jr., 27, and Brian Allen Tucker, 47, were both pronounced dead at the scene after emergency personnel responded at 12:41 a.m. to the 13700 block of South Interstate 35.
Police say Zamarripa drove a gray 2017 Nissan Altima southbound down the northbound lanes of the freeway for an unknown reason. His car then collided with a gold 2003 Chevrolet Silverado, which Tucker was driving.
When police arrived, the Silverado and the trailer it was towing were both fully engulfed in flames, police said.
Tucker was ejected from his vehicle, and Zamarripa was partially ejected from his, police said. A passenger in the Silverado was able to get out prior to it catching fire, police said. An off-duty University of Texas police officer helped the passenger to safety after witnessing the crash. The passenger, a woman, was taken to a hospital with critical injuries, police said.
This is Austin’s 44th fatal traffic of the year, resulting in 48 deaths. At the time last year, there were 43 traffic deaths.