On Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at approximately 1:45pm, the New Braunfels Police Department and the New Braunfels Fire Department were called to the 2900 block of I-35 North (northbound main lanes) for reports of a major motor vehicle accident.
Officers arrived and found that there had been a chain-reaction accident where a Chevrolet Silverado 2500 pickup truck had collided into the rear of two 18-wheelers, leaving the male driver of the pickup truck deceased at the scene. The driver has since been identified as 39-year old Matthew Wade Patek from Mansfield, TX. Next of kin has been notified and an autopsy has been ordered by Comal County Justice of the Peace for Pct. 3 Mike Rust.
The New Braunfels Police Department Traffic Unit was called to the scene to conduct a complete accident reconstruction investigation. The preliminary results of that investigation indicate that the Chevrolet pickup truck was traveling at a high rate of speed and was unable to stop for slowing traffic, causing the pickup truck to crash into the rear of an 18-wheeler gravel hauler driven by a 37-year old male from New Braunfels. The momentum of that crash then caused the pickup truck to continue forward until it became lodged underneath the rear of a second 18-wheeler driven by a 26-year old male from San Antonio. The driver of the gravel hauler was transported by New Braunfels paramedics to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the second 18-wheeler was uninjured in the crash. Alcohol is not suspected to be a factor in this crash.
Northbound I-35 in the area of FM 306 was closed for approximately 3 hours for the traffic collision investigation and the highway was reopened just before 5pm.