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A Dilley native lost his life on the outskirts of Cotulla early Friday, March 3, when his pickup truck struck a bridge support at the edge of IH-35, an incident that continues to puzzle investigators.
According to a brief report on the fatal crash by the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office, a Ford work truck had been traveling north on the interstate near the Cotulla bypass
loop bridge when it left the roadway and crossed unpaved ground towards the concrete columns supporting the overpass.
At the wheel of the truck, Joel Reyna was found to have sustained fatal injuries in the collision. He was treated on scene by medics of the La Salle County Fire Rescue while awaiting airlift to San Antonio by a Methodist AirCare helicopter. The sheriff’s office reported that Reyna’s condition could not be stabilized sufficiently for airlift and he was transported instead by ambulance to Frio Regional Hospital in Pearsall, where he was pronounced dead.
Investigators confirmed this week that the accident involved only Reyna’s pickup truck and that there was no indication of another vehicle being involved.
The investigation is being carried out by the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol. Officers have not determined the causes of the crash or confirmed any contributing factors as they examine the possible reasons for the vehicle leaving its lane of traffic.
Northbound interstate traffic was diverted onto the access road for an hour during the emergency response.