Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
January 20, 2016     Hays Free Press
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January 20, 2016

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=+ Page 2A NEWS Hays Free Press January 20, 2016 The Hays Free Press (ISSN 1087-9323) published weekly by Barton Publications, Inc., 122 N. Main St., Buda, TX 78610. Periodicals postage paid at Buda, TX 78610 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Barton Publications, Inc., RO. Box 339, Buda, TX 78610. ISSN#1087-9323 NEWS TIPS If you think it's news, we probably do tool Newsroom phone: 512-268-7862 E-mail: news@haysfreepress. com Mail: 113 W. Center Street, Kyle, TX 78640 CORRECTIONS Any erroneous reflection upon the character, standing or reputation of any person, firm or corporation which may appear in the pages of the Hays Free Press will be corrected upon being brought to the attention of the publisher. DEADLINES The deadline for display advertising and any contributed news copy in the Hays Free Press is 5 p.m. Friday the week prior to publication. The deadline for Letters to the Editor and classified word advertising in the Hays Free Press is noon Monday the week of publication, though we encourage readers and advertisers to observe the Friday deadline. LETTERS GUIDELINES We welcome locally written letters to the editor on timely topics of community interest. We ask that you keep them to about 350 words in length and that you not indulge in personal attacks on private individuals. Letters may be edited for brevity and clarity. All letters should be signed by the author and include a daytime phone number where the author can be contacted for verification. Letter writers are limited to one letter per month. Letters can be emailed to csb@ HISTORY Founded April 10, 1903, by Thomas Fletcher Harwell as The Kyle News, with offices on the corner of Burleson and Miller streets in the town's oldest remaining building. It merged into The Hays County Citizen in 1956. The. paper consolidated with The Free Press in October, 1978. During its more than 100-year history the newspaper has maintained offices at more than a dozen locations in Kyle and Buda. Piecing together thepuzzle BY KIM HILSENBECK Special to the Hays Free Press Kyle Police Department Lt. Andre Marmolejo looked on as his accident reconstruction specialists - what he calls the "Crash Team" - began recording data from a recent fatality collision. Just 30 minutes prior, he handed out assign- ments to officers Daniel Gooding, James Jones, David Saenz and Ca- det Ian Mabry at a prep meeting. "Park your vehicles here and here," he said, pointing to the map on the screen in the KPD headquarters. On Jan. 11, Kyle police officers closed down a portion of the 1-35 Access road and Bufleson Rd. between 1-35 and Spring Branch Drive for two hours. Law enforcement reconstruct- ed a major crash that took the life of Kyle res- ident Steve Vasquez, 34, of Kyle. His wife, Stepha- nie Vasquez, was seriously injured. Their unborn child was listed as stable. During the recon- struction, Kyle police captured la- ser measure- ments from the accident scene. They used points on the road- ways that were painted on by officers following the collision. Marmolejo's Crash Team performed accident reconstruction in the hours after the collision. But a heavy fog advisory prevented them from completing the work. "Fog and other weather factors can affect accu- racy of the readings and equipment," he said. He added that coming back during the day also provides officers with a chance to see more of the crash scene than they were able to in the dark. To reconstruct, officers first start at the point where all the vehicles ended up following the crash. They look for visual cues such as tire marks on the road and grass, debris, felled road signs and more. In this case, a stop sign was on the ground not far from where the vehicles came to rest in the grass. Officers then create and photograph the collision's trajectory using paint to define each point they believe was part of PHOTO BY KIM HILSENBECK A member of the Kyle Police Department focuses a laser-guid- ed measuring system across a portion of the southbound Interstate 35 access road during a reconstruction of a fatal accident last week. With a dedicated "Crash Team," the Kyle Police Department has cut down on the time it takes to assess serious and fatal collisions. provide the truth so they have some closure," Mar- molejo said. Crash scene data is combined with witness statements and informa- tion from victims. Taken in total, all that While many information can assist law enforcement and the dis- officers trict attorney by showing use the the cause of the crash. Prosecutors and de- equipment, fense attorneys use the resulting data and the Marmolejo, officers' analysis if a case Gooding, goes to trial. The specialized train- Saenz, Jones ing involves a great deal of math and science. Kyle's and three seven-person crash team other officers received training from local experts, including a each have group out of Texas A&M and the collision recon 250 hoursof unit from SanAntonio specialized Police. "It's pretty intense," training in Marmolejo said. "We could also get an addi- accident re- tional training in mo- construction, torcycle accidents and commercial vehicles." the scene. A laser measurement system is then used. "It's a lot like the equipment used by construction firms when they survey a road for con: struction," Marmolejo said. The equipment sends back the distance between two points. Two scribes, both police officers also capture all of the data manually. They create a map of the scene along the way to ensure everything matches. "This way, we capture redundant data in case of technical or equipment failure," Marmolejo said. The process can take anywhere from 90 min- utes to two hours. "Back in the day, we had to come out here with tape measures and record the distance between all the points. It could take anywhere from five to six hours," Marmalejo said. Technology streamlines the process and provides accurate data. While many officers use the equipment, Mar- molejo, Gooding, Saenz, Jones and three other offi- cers each have 250 hours of specialized training in accident reconstruction. Marmolejo said there are several reasons why they go through the effort. "We want to gather as much data as we can about any serious acci- dent or fatality," he said. "That can help in cases where charges may be filed, for example, against a driver." Sometimes, he added, it's to provide families and loved ones with details on what happened and how. "It's important to !ii i iiiii i iii ii i i iii i i i!i! ii!ia i ii i iii i i!i iii ii !!i i ii!i! iii iiiiii!i!i!iii ! iii! i iiii ii!i ii iiiii!!ii iiiiiiiiiiiii i ii i!i!iiiiiiiii i!iiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiii!iii Janie is a 8-year-old female patched tabby cal- ico. Gentle, calm and sweet - that's her in a nut- shell. She'd love the chance to spend some time helping you make breakfast in the morning or sharing your favorite books. Janie is a loving lady and an excellent companion for a calm home. Jake is a 3-year-old male border collie mix. Jake is a mellow, shy, affectionate guy, who would love to have an owner who can help him gain confi- dence. Jake does have some anxiety issues, but he may not have had the chance to experience the finer things in life before he came to PAWS. PAWS Shelter and Humane Society is a non-profit, no-kill shelter operated primarily on donations and adoptions. 500 FM i50 E, Kyle, TX. 512 268-1611 All animals are fully vaccinated, spay/neutered, microchipped and dewormed. New, Used, and Refinance Up to 66 Months APR 4-