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2 crashes in New Braunfels wreak havoc for I-35 commuters

Wrong-way driver, motorist driving too slowly blamed for crashes

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – Two crashes involving 18-wheelers backed up traffic for hours early Wednesday on Interstate 35 in New Braunfels.

The first crash, reported around 3:15 a.m., forced the closure of I-35 South near Solms Road after a wrong-way driver slammed into an 18-wheeler.

Officers found a car pushed up against the concrete median. The driver, a 26-year-old woman from Austin, was trapped inside the car and had to be extricated from the vehicle, New Braunfels police said. She was taken to San Antonio Military Medical Center in critical condition with possible life-threatening injuries.

The second crash was reported on I-35 North near Kohlenberg.

Police said the driver of a Chevrolet Trailblazer was traveling at 20 mph in the slow lane when an 18-wheeler traveling at 70 mph crashed into the SUV from behind, causing it to roll.

"(He) didn't notice the vehicle was traveling at 20 mph until right before impact," New Braunfels police Cpl. Bill Spence said.

The driver of the SUV and his passenger are expected to be OK.


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