Local News

Leading Off (2/12/21)

What we know about the tragedy in Fort Worth.

Investigation Into Fatal Crash Begins. The numbers are surreal: 133 vehicles smashed into one another inside the TEXPress toll lanes just north of downtown Fort Worth early Thursday morning. Six people died and 65 others were treated at area hospitals with injuries. Many were healthcare workers, still dressed in their scrubs after getting off their shifts. The wreck spanned a half mile, from Northeast 28th Street and Northside Drive. Politicians took to Twitter to question whether the lanes had been de-iced, as freezing temperatures transformed wet concrete into frozen danger. A spokesman for North Tarrant Express Mobility Partners, the toll agency that collects fees from the lanes, said it had been spot treating its roads after pre-treating for ice earlier in the week. The Texas Department of Transportation hasn’t commented beyond saying it’s committed to safety and pre-treats roads prior to icing. Witnesses reported “sheets of ice” on the road, while officials say the wreck may have been exacerbated by speed. The investigation is underway.

Winter Weather Watch Begins Saturday Night Into Monday. Stock up on groceries today. The National Weather Service advises North Texans of the risk of blizzard-like conditions Sunday night into Monday. The NWS expects between three and seven inches of snow and winds of 25 mph to 30 mph. It’s 24 degrees as I type this. Expect a weather post later today.

Former Van Duyne Staffer Kills Himself Outside Congresswoman’s Home. At about 3:30 p.m. yesterday, U.S. Rep. Beth Van Duyne heard a single gunshot outside of her Irving home and saw a body on her sidewalk. That man was former communications director Richard Christian “Chris” Dillard, who worked on her campaign from November 2019 to April 2020.

FEMA Comes To Dallas. And Arlington. And Houston. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will deploy 10,000 daily shots of vaccine at Fair Park and Houston’s NRG Stadium. AT&T Stadium will provide 3,000 a day. The sites will be managed by FEMA and the Texas Division of Emergency Management. Eligible members of the public—healthcare workers, residents 65 and older, or others with a chronic health condition—will be able to get vaccinated beginning Feb. 22. Registration details are to come.

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