The central Texas road with the nation's fastest speed limit at 85 mph has recorded its first fatal accident, on the same day that it began charging drivers.
The driver of a Honda Civic died after it collided with a Chevy Tahoe in the southbound lanes of state Highway 130 around 1:45 p.m. Sunday. The victim, Martha Melinda Harris, 60, of Lockhart, Texas, had just entered the toll road from the ramp, Mustang Ridge Police told NBC News.
The driver and the passenger in the Chevy Tahoe suffered minor injuries, KXAN.com reported.
Police are still investigating the cause of the accident and did not say how fast the cars were traveling.
Wild hogs, however, were not a factor in the crash, police said. Four crashes between vehicles and hogs took place during the first night the toll road opened.
Tolls had been waived for the 41-mile final leg of the roadway, which connects the Austin and San Antonio areas, so drivers could try it out after it opened Oct. 24.
But on Sunday, the SH 130 Concession Co., which developed and manages the toll road through a contract with the Texas Transportation Commission, began charging on the new section.
Tolls for the full stretch of road range from $6.17 for motorists with state electronic toll tags to $8.21 for those without, The Associated Press said.
Since the repeal of the 55-mph national speed limit for U.S. highways in 1995, 34 states have individually raised their speed limits to 70 mph or higher on portions of their roads, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.
Other roads in the Lone Star State also have high speed limits: On some highways in rural West Texas, drivers can legally cruise as fast as 80 mph, the AP reported. Utah is the only other state in the country with posted speeds at 80 mph, with that as the limit on portions of Interstate 15, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The first 85-mile an hour speed limit signs are going up on a stretch of Route 130 outside of Austin, Texas. NBC's Brian Williams reports.
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