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One person dies after icy conditions cause havoc on I-10 near Kerrville; backups now cleared

The accident was first reported late Thursday night and caused delays through Friday afternoon.

KERRVILLE, Texas — A series of accidents on I-10 in Kerrville caused hours-long delays for travelers Thursday night into Friday. 

Some drivers slept overnight in their cars on the interstate, unable to move off for hours. 

Beth Lorenz and her husband Dick said they hit traffic just before 9 p.m. Thursday night. They moved 2 miles in 15 hours. 

"We are lucky because we have a motor home and we just happen to be in it, and so we personally even have a bathroom in our motor home," Beth Lorenz said. "There’s no bathrooms out here so people are having to make use of this side of the road, it’s just a sad situation."

Law enforcement gradually opened lanes Friday. Even with major wreckage off the highway, delays continued. 

"Cold front hit you guys hard!" said Joshua Keathley, a truck driver delivering produce from California to Florida. He said it took more than three hours to drive about 60 miles from Junction to Comfort.  

"The load was originally supposed to be in Florida today," he said. "I'm going to be late so, you know, that's going to cause problems." 

Hundreds of other truckers experienced the delay on the interstate. Some also could not find gas, either. 

Three truck drivers told KENS 5 a stop in Comfort was the only station with available fuel in the area. Dozens of trucks lined up for access to one of seven pumps. 

One driver said he'd not seen a truck stop with gas for big rigs since Abilene. 

"You're talking about a lot of freight and a lot of value in that freight - some perishable," said John Esparza, President and CEO of the Texas Trucking Association. "One deviation can have a grand impact on drivers."

Esparza described a "daisy-chain," where hours-long traffic jams create days-long shipping delays. 

Those truckers also experienced delays related to federally-mandated rest time. By law, commercial drivers cannot drive more than 11 hours before they take a ten hour break. 

The clock runs, even when the truck is stuck. In some cases, drivers had to sleep on the interstate and could not legally move off. 

"I can guarantee you no truck driver wants to take his mandated rest in the sleeper berth while he's parked on the interstate," she said. "But unfortunately, I don't think they had much of a choice in this situation."

One person died after a tractor trailer collided with a Ford F-150 pickup truck Thursday night, according to Kerrville Police.

The incident occurred on 1-10 near mile marker 510 at around 9:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Officials say a tractor trailer was traveling westbound when it attempted to slow for traffic that was at a standstill due to bad weather conditions. The tractor trailer then flipped on its side and slid due to icy conditions and collided with the Ford F-150 pickup that was stopped for traffic. 

Two people were in the F-150 and were transported to the Peterson Regional Medical Center in Kerrville in critical condition. One person died from their injuries Friday evening. 

Kerrville Police said in a release they are investigating the accident, but there are no pending charges against the tractor trailer driver at this time, as it appears that road conditions were a major contributing factor. 

This comes after sleet and freezing rain fell Thursday and turned to slush. As temperatures dropped again in the evening, the slush turned to ice. 

Police say the fatal accident happened after vehicles had already been stuck on I-10 East due to jackknifed semi-trucks on slick roads. 

All backups on I-10 have cleared as of Friday evening. 

In a Facebook post, Kerrville Police said all major streets are clear and dry in town. They continue to ask people to drive with caution as there are still some icy spots that could refreeze Friday night. 

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