SAN ANGELO, TX — A crash at the intersection of Bryant Ave. and the Houston Harte Expressway service road saw the southbound lanes of Bryant closed for about two hours Sunday night.
Two ambulances rushed two crash victims to the emergency room at Shannon. Both vehicles were black in color SUVs, one a larger SUV than the other.
Police didn’t tell us who how the crash happened. If fact, police didn’t tell us anything at all. The investigating officer likely departed the crash scene early to go interview the two drivers who were injured. Likely both will say that his or her traffic light was green. Who knows what witnesses on the scene will testify or if anyone was really paying that much attention at all.
This intersection, W. 7th St. and N. Bryant Blvd., is a notorious intersection for crashes. A crash happens there just about every day. Sometimes, drivers have been killed. Several years ago a woman was turning left underneath the underpass and, according to the crash report at the time, a former Lake View football star who was then enrolled in Angelo State allegedly was driving at a high rate of speed southbound. The two vehicles collided. The woman was found to have had a few drinks. She was charged with Intoxication manslaughter. The world blew up. The woman deserved whatever the courts were going to throw at her over a few glasses of wine, the Internet said. Never mind that the kid was likely speeding, as in, driving at a high rate of speed. But she had money and hired a crash investigation team of retired DPS Troopers. They were going to tell the court what really happened. But before the trial began, the grand jury refused to indict the woman and her charges were downgraded to a simple DUI, as a first DUI offense. The accused pleaded nolo contendere. There was no trial and no one ever found out what the retired DPS folks discovered. Even the civil lawsuit was decided out of court.
Turning left is always a challenge at this intersection, especially at night. The southbound lanes turn towards the intersection by about 20 degrees about 1000 feet from the intersection. At night, this creates an illusion that the oncoming traffic is slowing, maybe slowing enough to to convince the northbound driver to turn left in front of the oncoming traffic. This is how most crashes happen at this intersection.
Sunday night was likely something like that, and the two SUVs were traveling fast from the looks of the photos.
Avoiding S. Bryant Blvd. and W. 7th St. is a good option. If you're leaving downtown headed to the west side of the city, the better option is N. Chadbourne at W. 7th St. There's less traffic and the oncoming southbound traffic doesn't turn 20 degrees towards you just before the intersection. Entry onto the Loop west from the overpass over Chadbourne is as fast, if not faster. There's still crashes there from time-to-time, but it's not almost daily like it is at Bryant and the Houston Harte.