Expressway Debris Causes Headache for Drivers
BROWNSVILLE – Drivers said debris on Expressway 83 between Brownsville and Harlingen caused them a huge headache Thursday morning.
A line of cars was left with flat tires on the side of the road. The origin of the debris is still unknown.
“We were on our way to Harlingen for a doctor's appointment,” explained Maria Rayas, one of the drivers affected. “My husband pulled off to the side, got out of the car to check and saw that two of the tires were flat. We don't know why it happened of if there was anything (on the road).”
The same thing happened to Perla Yaniz on her way to work.
“I was just driving and there was a black strip in the lane and I went over,” Yaniz explained. “It just popped all my tires. I had to stop on the side."
The incident happened around 6:30 a.m. It was still dark outside. Six cars were damaged in total, some with more flats than others.
Brownsville Police Department spokesman J.J. Treviño told CHANNEL 5 NEWS it's unknown who was responsible for the incident.
“I think it's just common sense that if something falls out of your vehicle, you're going to stop and get it before it causes an accident," he said.
Trevino said more than just common sense, it's the law.
Texas transportation code 725.021 states, “A vehicle subject to this chapter shall be equipped and maintained as required by this section to prevent loose material from escaping by blowing or spilling,” and “A vehicle bed carrying a load may not have a hole, crack, or other opening through which loose material can escape.”
Violating the law is a Class C misdemeanor that can carry a $285 fine.
Trevino said anything that falls or blows out of someone’s truckload that can't be connected to a person is classified as a"road hazard." He said it will then become the Texas Department of Transportation’s responsibility to clean up.
The Department of Public Safety said everyone should always secure their load before they go.
If someone sees something falling out of a vehicle onto the expressway, call 9-1-1 immediately so local police or TxDOT can clear it before it causes an accident.
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