“You take your life in your own hands by being out on the road right now,” said Karnes County Sheriff David Jalufka, as Hailey Konnath reports for the Houston Chronicle. Jalufka’s talking about the Eagle Ford Shale traffic – 18-wheelers and oil tankers and other commercial trucks – going to and from the wells.
There’s so much of it that Texas 239 is known, according to Konnath, as the “death trap,” while U.S. 181 is “clogged.”
The words “death trap” and “clogged” aren’t overblown: if the numbers are right, McMullen County alone has had a 1,050 percent increase in the number of fatal wrecks with commercial trucks.
And Karnes County has seen its fatal truck accidents multiply by a factor of 12 since 2008, around the time the natural gas and oil boom really started taking off in South Texas.
“This isn’t the small town it was a year and a half ago,” said the chief of police in Kenedy, Texas, where 500 trucks travel daily and elsewhere on deteriorating South Texas roads.