New Braunfels police have identified 39-year-old Matthew Wade Patek of Mansfield as the driver of a Chevrolet Silverado 2500 pickup truck who died after rear-ending two 18-wheelers yesterday on northhbound I-35 near FM 306.
The accident snarled traffic in the Creekside area for about three hours. I-35 north was reopened to traffic just before 5 p.m.
In a statement, the New Braunfels Police Department (NBPD) said next-of-kin has been notified and an autopsy ordered by Comal County Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace Mike Rust.
Preliminary results indicate Patek’s pickup truck was speeding and unable to stop for slower traffic when it crashed into the rear of an 18-wheeler gravel hauler driven by a 37-year-old New Braunfels man.
The momentum of that crash caused Patek’s truck to continue forward until it became lodged underneath a second 18-wheeler driven by a 26-year-old San Antonio man.
The driver of the gravel hauler was transported by New Braunfels paramedics to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the second 18-wheeler was uninjured.
Alcohol is not suspected as a factor in the incident.