AUSTIN (KXAN) — A person died after a rollover crash on State Highway 71 near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport Thursday morning.
The westbound lanes of the highway were closed for more than five hours due to the crash. The highway was fully reopened around 10:15 a.m.
Austin-Travis County EMS said on social media at 5:07 a.m. that medics pronounced an adult patient dead on the scene.
The westbound lanes of the highway near Brandt Drive were closed for several hours and impacted airport traffic.
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, or AUS, said on social media that traffic exiting the airport was backed up and caused back-ups for those dropping off travelers. At one point, trams were taking people from the roadways to the terminal.
“One thing that’s notable too about this is that the crash impacted traffic into those morning rush hour times, as well as Thursday morning airport time. So Thursday mornings, Friday mornings, those are always some of our busiest times of the week. So it was really just that combination of factors with the rain, the time of day and the time of week for us at the airport for this to have this kind of significant impact on travelers,” AUS spokesperson Samantha Haynes said.
This isn’t the first time a major crash on Hwy 71 has impacted traffic to and from AUS. When something like this occurs, airport officials work in conjunction with emergency officials managing the crash.
“We’re not quite ready to start talking through lessons learned, because the event is still ongoing. And it’s still happening right now. But what we will do is once we resume normal operations, we sit down at the table with Austin Police Department, all of our partners and look through what worked well, and where are those opportunities to improve,” Haynes said.
The Austin Police Department said it was a single-vehicle crash, and the driver of the vehicle was the person who died.