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Feral hogs cause fatal accident

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By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

A common traffic hazard spelled disaster last week for a Lockhart family.

Just after 6:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 30, Verlyn Dillavou was traveling southbound on FM 2001 on a motorcycle when he struck a hog crossing the road about three miles north of Lockhart.

Dillavou, according to reports from the Texas Depart

ment of Public Safety’s Highway Patrol Division, was thrown from his motorcycle and landed in the southbound lane. His motorcycle came to a rest in the northbound lane.

A northbound driver in a Suzuki Forenza saw the motorcycle in his lane and swerved to avoid it. Apparently the morning’s dark and fog obscured his view of the injured rider in the southbound lane of traffic.

Dillavou was pronounced dead at the scene by Precinct Three Justice of the Peace Mary Alice Llanas, just after 8 a.m.

Although the incident is still under investigation, DPS Sgt. Darrell Jirrall said there was no real reason to suspect the accident was anything more than just that – a tragic accident.

The accident draws focus to a growing problem in rural areas in Central Texas, the fall “migration” of feral hogs. Although the beasts do not exhibit an actual breeding season, according to Caldwell County Agrilife Extension Agent Jeff Watts, the cooler weather seems to bring hogs out during the evening and night hours.

“Specifically this fall, hogs are having to travel further distances for water because of the drought,” Watts said.
Because hogs travel in family-like packs and are fearless about crossing roads, they often endanger drivers who see a number of hogs at a roadside and do not realize that several more may be following.

Additionally, their dark fur and often short stature makes hogs difficult to see at night.

Last fall, authorities in Lockhart and Caldwell County attributed several accidents to feral hogs crossing normally busy roads, and warned Caldwell County drivers to exercise caution when driving at night or in less-than-ideal visibility conditions.

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