FREESTONE COUNTY, Texas — The torrential rains that swept through Central Texas on Tuesday wiped out County Road 111 in Fairfield and claimed the life of a man in Freestone County.
"It's been a hard day for Freestone County and a lot of it's people. Several reports of flooding and accidents along our roadways. Over 8 inches of water in a hurry will do that," said Freestone County Sheriff Jeremy Shipley in a Facebook post. "Our law enforcement agencies and Fire Departments worked many areas of the county today. With all the good that transpired with their assistance, it's unfortunate that we can only move forward with a heavy heart and prayers for a family who has lost a loved one."
At approximately 12:49 p.m. local law enforcement and Water Rescue Teams from Teague and Wortham, along with Fire Department personnel form Fairfield and Streetman fought rushing water and the elements as they worked to save a local man, they were told, who was missing.
"Prior to beginning search and rescue, notification was received from family and friends that there was a missing individual who resided in the area and drove a black vehicle," Sheriff Shipley wrote.
The search went on for almost two hours, both rescue boats on other side of the creek patrolled back and forth fighting the rushing water and attempting to find a black Lexus that was lost in the water.
Sheriff Shipley said that once the water began to subside, a black Lexus bumper was pulled from the water and was a part of the vehicle of their missing person.
As the water continued to subside, and nearly three hours after the call was received, the missing man was located on the east side of the creek and was pronounced dead at the scene. Shipley said the vehicle has not been found and the search for it will not resume until conditions are safer for rescue teams to do so.
"Inevitably, God had other plans for this one. As difficult as it may seem now to accept, you ladies and gentlemen did what you could do," Sheriff Shipley said in the Facebook post to the rescuers who worked so hard in tough conditions. "You did good."
There is caution tape and road closure signs on both sides of the washed out roadway on CR 111 and no one is allowed in that area, unless you are a county official, law enforcement, or a first responder assisting in the ongoing search for the vehicle.
The area has been deemed unsafe.
"I'm sure many will be holding the family in their prayers tonight, or in prayers we've already prayed," Sheriff Shipley wrote on Facebook. "Pray for our First Responders as well, for we will be back out doing what we can again, without fail, as soon as the next call is dispatched."
FM 1580 is also closed due to a damaged culvert at Mills Creek. The closure on FM 1580 is from Mills Creek to CR 496, two miles south of US 84. Drivers who travel this area should find an alternate route.
TxDOT is working on an emergency contract to fix the culverts.
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