By Kathi Bliss
A weekend road trip turned deadly for a Dallas family on Saturday when their SUV experienced a blowout and rolled over on SH-130 north of Lockhart.
Just before noon, first responders received a call on a one-vehicle rollover with multiple injuries. When they arrived on the scene, they found something much worse than they were expecting.
According to Austin-Travis County EMS spokesperson Mark Karonika, eight people, including the two deceased women, were ejected as the vehicle flipped multiple times. Another three were trapped and had to be cut from the vehicle, a GMC Yukon, by members of Chisholm Trail Fire-Rescue.
“When you have that many people in a vehicle, unrestrained, traveling at this kind of speed, the outcome is what you see here,” Karonika said.
According to CTFR Chief Mark Padier, although officials could not confirm that none of the 12 people in the vehicle were wearing seatbelts, he suspected that all, or most, of the passengers were unrestrained.
“We cut three people out and I didn’t cut a seatbelt,” Padier said.
Officials on the scene said it appeared the vehicle had a blowout, and the driver, Razo, lost control of the Yukon, which rolled several times, ejecting passengers, which included five children and seven adults.
The two women killed, 31-year-old Veronica Razo and 27-year-old Sonja Ramirez were sisters, who were traveling with their family from their Dallas-area home to a surprise party for a relative near Eagle Pass. Both were ejected as the vehicle rolled.
Information shared with Dallas-area news media by Ruben Razo, 23, the brother of the victims who was also a passenger in the vehicle, suggests the family was originally traveling in two vehicles, but one broke down near Waco. Rather than call off their trip, the family decided to pile everyone into the Yukon and continue south for the party.
“I remember we were having a good time, laughing and um all we heard was a tire pop from the back side of the passenger and I just remember that I looked in the mirror and I saw the tire just peeling off,” he said.
According to Karonika, helicopters from StarFlight, San Antonio Methodist and San Antonio Air Life were all dispatched to the scene, and a total of nine injured victims were transported to area hospitals via helicopter. A tenth, presumably Ruben Razo, who received bruises and a cut to his stomach, was taken via A-TCEMS ambulance.
Their conditions were unknown at press time, as calls to the DPS Trooper in charge of the scene were not immediately returned.
Donations for the family can be sent to: Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church at 5605 Bernal Dr., Dallas, Texas 75212. The church’s phone number is (214) 637-6673.