Driver in custody after hitting 4 gas meters, creating gas leak in Schertz

Crash and leak happened off Randolph Ave, near Brooks, Winburn Avenues

SCHERTZ, Texas – A driver is in police custody after he hit four gas meters in an alley with their vehicle, causing a gas leak in Schertz early Monday morning.

Joseph Villafranca, 41, has been charged with criminal mischief.

The crash happened just after 3 a.m. in an alley off Randolph Avenue, not far from Brooks and Winburn avenues.

According to police, officers responded to the 500 block of Winburn Avenue after receiving word about a possible gas leak from a concerned citizen. A strong odor of gas could be smelled in the immediate area.

Police said emergency crews arrived and discovered multiple gas leaks from damaged meters that were in the alleyway.

A brief shelter-in-place was put into effect for residents in the immediate area, and a reverse 911 system was used by the Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office to help notify people.

The Cibolo Police Department provided assistance in locating and identifying the driver and taking him into custody.

CenterPoint Energy has since been able to cap the gas leak. Additionally repairs, however, will take some additional time.

“We are thankful for our working relationships with CenterPoint Energy, Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office, Cibolo PD, and SCUC ISD as we worked through this incident to a safe conclusion. This situation could have certainly ended a different way if our community members had not notified first responders so quickly,” Police Chief Jim Lowery said.

About the Authors

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.

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