Fatal crash, two house fires

All in 20-hour period for Rockdale firefighters Friday-Saturday

Firefighter Herbie Vaughan (L), State Trooper J. C. Brooks at fatal collision on US 79 Friday.A 19-year-old Austin man was killed when his small SUV collided with a charter bus Friday on US 79 between Rockdale and Milano.

The crash began a hectic 20-hour period for the Rockdale Volunteer Fire Department, which also answered two house fire alarms in Rockdale, with numerous firefighters leaving the scene of initial calls to do so.

FATALITY—Ian Pogue was pronounced dead at the scene of the 2:31 p.m. crash on US 79 near CR 234 by Justice of the Peace Gary Northcott.

According to State Trooper J. C. Brooks, Pogue was the driver of a westbound Honda CRV which crossed the highway’s center line and collided with an eastbound 1997 MCI bus driven by William Sjoblom, 63, of Austin.

Brooks said the bus, owned by Todd Charter Service of Manor, was empty except for the driver.

Sjoblom’s injuries were termed “minor.” The bus sustained extensive damages, according to the DPS.

Brooks said wreckage from the collision struck a westbound 2009 Nissan Sentra driven by Jonathan Streetman of Rockdale, causing minor damage.

Pogue was wearing a seat belt, according to the DPS.

US 79 was closed for about four hours following the crash and through traffic between Rockdale and Milano was re-routed through Cameron with traffic control stops in Rockdale and Milano.

It was the first fatal crash in South Milam Count y during 2013 and the fourth overall in the county.

FIRES—At 5 p.m., with many firefighters still dealing with the fatal crash and the traffic situation, the RVFD was called to a house fire at 300 Texas Street.

Fire Chief Ward Roddam said some damage was reported in a blaze caused by coals from a barbecue pit.

Overnight Friday, the RVFD was called out to the Minerva area to assist with a CPR situation.

Roddam said that alert was toned out about 2 a.m.

Before dawn Saturday, the RVFD was on the scene helping with traffic control around Veterans Park for the 14th annual Alpha Tau Delta Dewberry Run.

Volunteers had assisted with starting the 1K kids run at 8 a.m. when 15 minutes later they were called to a house fire at 519 Estelle Street in the Praesel Addition.

Roddam said a fire in the Lynn McGuire home was traced to a flue that had separated from a fireplace.

“It was spreading pretty quickly, had gotten into the attic,” Roddam said. “Smoke was coming out from under the eaves of the house.”

He said the house sustained some fire damage and “a lot of smoke and water damage.”

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2013-04-25 digital edition

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