Potential changes in the works for notorious thoroughfare on San Antonio’s Southeast Side

SAPD: 59 crashes in ten years, one fatality on E. Southcross

SAN ANTONIO – It may have been a two-way street in the early 1950s when the Highland Hills community of duplexes was built on either side, but East Southcross has now become a notorious major thoroughfare on San Antonio’s Southeast Side.

San Antonio Police Department records show there’ve been 59 crashes and one fatality in the past 10 years on East Southcross.

Of those, SAPD said 46 weren’t obeying traffic laws, 10 were due to “driver inattention,” and three were driving while under the influence.

The latest victim was a 9-year-old boy who was seriously injured Saturday when an SUV apparently lost control on the curve, crashing into his family’s duplex in the middle of the night. The driver also was seriously hurt, police said, but there is no word yet on any possible charges.

Diane Lawson, president of Aspire Asset Management, asked, “How can people go to sleep at night when this is something that they’re worried about, and they see these cars coming up into the grass and towards the buildings all the time?”

Lawson said in the 12 years she’s been managing Highland Hills, she’s seen six or seven vehicles that have slammed into duplexes.

Gloria Zamarripas, the property manager, said since 2017, she’s seen three. Each one of them, she said, was “heart-wrenching.”

Lawson said she worries about the safety of her residents, the drivers themselves, and pedestrians on the sidewalk just off the busy street.

On Monday, following the latest crash, Lawson said staff with the office of District 3 Councilwoman Phyllis Viagran were offering to help.

She said several potential changes are in the works that Viagran’s spokeswoman said will be reviewed by the city’s Public Works Department.

Lawson said among the changes being considered are flashing lights on the signs alerting drivers there’s a curve ahead, guardrails, and even speed bumps where East Southcross intersects at Dollarhide and at Clark to slow down traffic driving through Highland Hills.

“That would be like the quickest and easiest, and I’m assuming the least expensive way to do it because they can do it on both ends,” Zamarripas said.

Viagran’s spokeswoman said SAPD has told them patrol units already are increasing their visibility along East Southcross to enforce the 35 mph speed limit.

About the Authors:

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.

Before starting at KSAT in August 2011, Ken was a news photographer at KENS. Before that he was a news photographer at KVDA TV in San Antonio. Ken graduated from San Antonio College with an associate's degree in Radio, TV and Film. Ken has won a Sun Coast Emmy and four Lone Star Emmys. Ken has been in the TV industry since 1994.