Fatal Accidents Continue to Plague Milam County
Milam County continues to rank near the top in the grim statistic of per-capita roadway deaths. The most recent statewide report by the Texas Department of Transportation shows that Milam County had ten motor vehicle fatalities in 2014. With a population of only 24,256, Milam County’s rate soars above many similar counties.
For example, adjacent Robertson County had only one fatality during the same time period. Another adjacent county, Burleson County, had only four fatalities despite being severely overcrowded by traffic on Highway 21 as well as Highway 36.
The Milam County crash statistics demonstrate that wrecks in the county occur on a variety of highways and in many different ways. There is not a clear pattern to Milam County accidents. For example, 2014 began with a tragic accident in Rockdale that killed a prominent local couple on Highway 79. Shortly afterward, a single vehicle crash on FM 485 claimed another life. After that, a reckless driving incident in Milano caused another Highway 79 fatality. Then came yet another fatality at the infamous FM 485 and Highway 77 intersection. A few weeks later, a blowout killed a Hempstead woman in a Buckholts accident. Finally, a motorcycle was involved in a fatal highway 77 collision
with an 18 wheeler.
It is clear that Milam County needs four-lane, divided highways. The research on a Highway 36/190 divided highway has been done, and it is feasible according to the study authors. Due to chronic underfunding of Texas rural highways, there is almost no prospect of this project proceeding anytime soon. Until then, it is likely that Milam County will continue to be less safe than many other rural counties.