First Fatal Crash on Texas Highway with Nation’s Fastest Speed Limit

A fatal accident happened on the Texas toll highway with the nation’s fastest speed limit at 85 mph on Sunday, the day when it just began charging drivers.

Police are still investigating the cause of the two-vehicle crash that killed a woman, identified as 60-year-old Martha Melinda Harris of Lockhart, Texas, at around 1:45 p.m. on Highway 130.

Harris had just entered the toll road from the ramp when her Honda Civic collided with a Chevy Tahoe in the southbound lanes of the highway.

The Chevy Tahoe’s driver and passenger sustained minor injuries.

Police did not say if speed was a factor in the crash.

Wild hogs have contributed to four crashes during the first night the toll road opened. But police said hogs were not a factor in this deadly collision.

The SH 130 Concession Co., which developed and manages the toll road through a contract with the Texas Transportation Commission, waived tolls when it opened on Oct. 24 for drivers to test out the 41-mile roadway connecting areas in Austin and San Antonio.

The charging of tolls on the new section began on Sunday which ranges from $6.17 for motorists with state electronic toll tags to $8.21 for those without.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 34 states have individually raised their speed limits to 70 mph or higher on portions of their roads since the repeal of the 55-mph national speed limit for U.S. highways in 1995.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said that on some highways in rural West Texas, drivers can legally travel as fast as 80 mph. Utah is the only other state in the country with posted speeds at 80 mph on portions of Interstate 15.