It’s an entrance many people in the Rio Grande Valley have gone through in the past 30 years, to get to the jetties or Isla Blanca Park.
Now a man is facing charges for ramming into it and destroying it.
People on South Padre Island woke up to unfamiliar sights, the snow and the concrete Isla Blanca Park entrance structure caved-in.
“Oh my gosh, we thought it was the wind,” Theresa Collins said, “You know because we’ve had that horrible wind.”
Park officials told CHANNEL 5 NEWS this was no act of nature.
“At about approximately 11:30 last night a vehicle ran into the toll booth into the entrance canopy of Isla Blanca Park,” Cameron County Parks Director Joe Vega said. “Basically, it destroyed the toll booth and made the canopy collapse.”
Cameron County Parks Police Chief Horacio Zamora said a white 2017 Dodge Ram 3500 mega cab, took down the structure, causing an estimated $450,000 worth of damage.
The chief said the driver, Devin Scott Holley, left the scene.
Today, he turned himself in and is now facing charges for hitting the structure and not reporting the accident.
Winter Texans living at the RV park told us they were surprised by the damage.
“I have no idea, I’ve never seen this before,” said Jim Hass. “It’s pretty bad whatever happened.”
Vega said the Isla Blanca Park will soon undergo about $30 million worth of renovations. They weren’t expecting to deal with a redesign of the entrance just yet. They’ll have to move-up plans to renovate the entrance.
“We want to do something that’s going to compliment the improvements that we are currently doing at Isla Blanca Park,” he said.
Vega is hoping this won’t keep visitors away from the park for the winter season. He said the park remains open for business.
Those who plan to visit Isla Blanca Park will have to go through a temporary side entrance and toll booth that has been set-up to the right-hand side.
Right now, park police are still investigating why Holley allegedly ran into the canopy.