State to Straighten Dangerous Curve in Willacy Co.

4 years 5 months 1 week ago Monday, January 22 2018 Jan 22, 2018 January 22, 2018 8:56 PM January 22, 2018 in News

NEAR RAYMONDVILLE – A man accused of killing a family of four in a Willacy County crash waits for the next step in his court case. He pled not guilty in court last week.

The crash happened Christmas Eve of 2016. It’s one of many on State Highway 186. Officials with the Texas Department of Transportation say big changes are coming to the area.

Eduardo Gomez has lived on his property just beyond the Raymondville city limits for 30 years.

He lives off State Highway 186, right in front of a curve. He said the curve has taken its toll on drivers over the years.

"A lot of wrecks, yes, plenty of wrecks," Gomez said, "and people fall in the ditch. People that don't know the highway well you've got that deal on the side, so sometimes you don't know where to go."

On Dec. 24, 2016, according to authorities, a truck driver driving west on 186, allegedly lost control and struck a vehicle with a family of four inside.

Two adults, a teen and a boy died in that crash.

TxDOT spokesman Octavio Saenz said there are changes on the way for this area. What's now an "s" curve, will soon be a straight road.

"There is additional daily traffic and that's something that you see a lot on rural roads, especially once you see the growth of population becoming more and more evident," Saenz said.

The state listened to residents' concerns about the possible dangers on this curve, Saenz said. Data gathered by TxDOT supported those concerns.

The plans to straighten out the road, he adds, were in place before the fatal Christmas Eve crash.

"We're adding what's called the super two's," Saenz said. "The super two's are additional lanes that area sporadically, spread to allow better flow of vehicular traffic.”

Saenz tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS parts of State Highway 186 are also being fixed in the Hidalgo County side.

After decades of witnessing accidents, Gomez is just happy something is being done.

"I think it should've been fixed a long time ago, but those things take time," Gomez said. "When it comes to lives - a life is very precious."

Saenz also tells us TxDOT recently resurfaced the road here to give drivers extra traction as they go through the infamous curve.

The state is in the process of purchasing the right-of-way land necessary for the project.

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