5-vehicle crash halts traffic on causeway

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Many people crossing the Queen Isabella Memorial Bridge got out of their cars on Sunday to try to see why traffic was at a standstill. It turns out a five-vehicle crash happened on the causeway heading westbound. Two vehicles rolled over and three others crashed, leaving many drivers at a standstill for more than two hours.

The accidents happened about 5:30 p.m., causing a traffic delay over the bridge on and off. The initial crashes caused a chain reaction as three drivers traveling eastbound onto the Island crashed while observing the westbound wrecks. “They were watching the crash by slowing down,” Texas Department of Public Safety area spokesperson Sgt. Maria Montalvo said. Montalvo said several people involved in both crash scenes on the bridge were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Drivers leaving the Island waited until around 7:30 p.m. to cross the causeway after the traffic accident was cleaned up. Drivers heading to the Island were backed up as far at Laguna Vista waiting to get to the Island. Police Chief Wally Gonzalez urges drivers to travel the speed limit and to drive safely over the bridge.

“These accidents can be prevented if people just stay the speed limit at 55 mph,” Gonzalez said. “It seems people are always in a rush to get on and off the Island.” Gonzalez said he did not know if the drivers were distracted by text messaging or just lost control of the vehicle. “Just don’t get distracted on the bridge,” Gonzalez said. “The bridge does not have any shoulders and has a median four feet high.” Further details about the accident were not available pending an investigation.