A collision with a traffic light on Judge Ely Boulevard left one man dead Tuesday.
Matthew Wright, 41, was driving down Judge Ely when he collided with a school zone sign and then a traffic signal, resulting in heavy damage and fatal injuries.
The accident occurred at 9:56 a.m. Tuesday morning. Wright was transported to Hendrick Trauma Center, where he was later pronounced dead at 12:03 p.m. by Justice of the Peace Sparky Dean.
“ACUPD responded to the call for two reasons,” said Jimmy Ellison, ACU chief of police. “It’s a busy intersection close to campus, and it looked like it would be a fatality.”
According to the APD report, witnesses said Wright pulled out of the United Supermarket parking lot and “proceeded to go south in the northbound lane.” He drove over the curb, crashing into a school zone sign before reentering the road and driving in the wrong direction. He hit the signal light pole on the NE corner of the EN 10th Street and Judge Ely Boulevard intersection.
Wright was trapped in the wreckage of his pickup truck for several minutes until Abilene Fire Department extracted him and was able to transport him to the hospital.
All witnesses said it appeared Wright was experiencing a possible medical episode, as he was leaning over the steering wheel while his vehicle continued southbound on Judge Ely. Though it is not yet known what kind of medical condition he was experiencing, it has been confirmed by police that alcohol was not a factor in the accident.
“This is an APD investigation,” Ellison said. “They are looking at medical causes for the accident, and there will probably be an autopsy performed since alcohol has definitely been ruled out as a cause.”
For the remainder of last week and the early part of this week, the intersection was turned into a four-way stop so the traffic pole could be replaced.
On Monday afternoon, though, the City of Abilene Twitter account confirmed “the intersection of N. 10th and Judge Ely is back up and running.”