KERRVILLE, TX - After roughly 20 hours, a standstill on Interstate 10 near Kerrville finally cleared late Friday afternoon.
Sleet and freezing rain created dangerous driving conditions and ice on the interstate Thursday. Around 9 p.m. that evening, a deadly crash caused all westbound traffic to stop.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of cars and vehicles were stranded on the highway through Thursday night and into Friday afternoon. Temperatures Thursday night were in the twenties, but it felt much colder than that.
"The road isn’t icy anymore," said Lonnie Austin, a truck driver from Houston. "The sun is out, but we can’t get anybody to move the wreckage."
Austin has been a truck driver for 28 years. He says he left La Porte, Texas late Thursday to deliver freight to a business in Odessa, Texas.
"[The truck in front of me] has been there all night," said Austin. "I can’t leave my truck on the highway. So, I have to stay with it."
When we interviewed Austin via Zoom on Friday, he had been stranded on the interstate for more than nine hours. At least two more hours went by before he eventually was able to drive again.
"Of course I was frustrated, but I’ve accepted it now," said Austin. "I have a lot going on. My dad just passed away. I wish I had stayed home with my family."
The interstate finally cleared late Friday afternoon. A fuel truck helped deliver gas to cars stranded on empty.
According to Austin, he already missed his delivery window. So now, he’s heading back home to Houston.
"I’ll see [my family] soon," said Austin. "If God says so, I’ll see them soon. The good Lord says I’ll be alright."