People in Schertz neighborhood wake up to calls about potentially dangerous gas leak

Driver blamed for running over 4 gas meters

SAN ANTONIO – Alarm clocks took a back seat to ringing phones for people in one Schertz neighborhood early Monday morning.

Many woke up to reverse 911 calls, warning them of danger nearby.

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

Joseph Gomez says he received the first of several automated calls shortly before 5 a.m.

“They said there was a gas leak …and just to stay inside,” he said. “They called about two or three times, and then after five or so they cleared it all.”

Before the all-clear was given, though, there were some tense times in the area near Randolph Avenue and Brooks Avenue.

Centerpoint Energy crews say a driver went through this alley off Randolph Avenue and ran over four gas meters, causing the leak. (KSAT 12 News)

According to crews with Centerpoint Energy, a driver went through a narrow alley and ran into four gas meters connected to nearby homes.

When KSAT 12 News arrived on the scene about 30 minutes later, there was still an audible hissing noise from the escaping gas as well as a strong odor of gas in the air.

“I didn’t smell anything,” Gomez said later.

It appeared that by staying inside his home with the windows closed, he was shielded from the powerful scent.

Still, the gas leak presented the potential for danger.

Crews, however, were able to cap it quickly before anyone could be injured.

They said they had to wait until daylight to repair the broken meters. Additional repairs will take some time.

Tread marks show the path the car took as it went through the alley and ran over gas meters. (KSAT 12 News)

During the height of the gas leak, neighbors shared their experiences on social media and neighborhood apps.

Some inquired whether the leak would affect nearby Schertz Elementary School.

Schertz police officers who were on scene said it did not appear the school was affected.

Later, it seemed the school day was starting as scheduled.

The Centerpoint Energy workers said they saw police take custody of the driver who caused the trouble.

Joseph Villafranca, 41, is charged with criminal mischief.

KSAT 12 News reached out to Schertz police for more information on the incident.

“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 commented.

About the Authors

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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