UT-Austin student Mark Sands dies after car and scooter crash

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Photo Credit: Chase Karacostas | Daily Texan Staff

UT student Mark Sands died Saturday afternoon after the Lime scooter he was riding collided with an Uber vehicle early Friday morning, according to the Austin Police Department. University spokesperson J.B. Bird confirmed Sands was a UT student.

According to tweets from Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services, Sands was transported to Dell Seton Hospital with critical, life-threatening injuries around 1:00 a.m. Friday. He was still in critical condition following emergency brain surgery, according to a GoFundMe page created by mechanical engineering junior Kyle Meche. Sands was pronounced dead at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, according to an APD news release.

The crash, which was Austin’s fifth traffic fatality of the year, occurred on the North Interstate 35 frontage road, according to the APD news release. Police said an Uber driver operating a 2006 silver Volkswagen Jetta was correctly traveling southbound in the right lane of N. IH-35 southbound on the service road. The Jetta changed lanes to enter the ramp of southbound IH-35 when it “encountered” a Lime scooter traveling the wrong way, northbound, in the southbound left lane of the IH-35 service road.

The Uber driver remained on the scene and is cooperating as the investigation continues, according to the news release. APD said Monday the toxicology results in the case were still pending. APD Lt. Blake Johnson told The Daily Texan he believed the Uber driver was not under the influence.

Sands was a 21-year-old international foreign exchange student from Dublin, Ireland, Student Body President Colton Becker said. He is survived by his family, according to the GoFundMe page. He was a member of the Texas Iron Spikes, a spirit group on campus, Becker said. Meche, an Iron Spikes member, wrote on the page that the funds will go toward covering the Sands family’s travel expenses.

Meche wrote that Sands died surrounded by his family and that they have decided to donate his organs before taking him back to Ireland.

“Please keep Mark and his family in your thoughts and prayers,” Meche wrote. “This is a very difficult time for all of us as Mark was such a beloved member of our community.”

The GoFundMe has raised $22,130 for Sands’ family as of Monday at 9 p.m.

“If you’ve ever been lucky enough to meet Mark you’ve surely noticed his constant smile,” Meche wrote. “He was one of the most charming and amusing people you will ever meet. Mark never met a stranger or someone he didn’t like. He had a passion for everyone he knew and he always looked out for others.”

APD is still investigating this case. We will update this story with more information as soon as possible.

 

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