Community mourns loss of local ER nurse in deadly Highway 21 crash

It’s the second fatal crash this month involving a semi-truck along a stretch of Highway 21 in west Brazos County.
Miranda Meckel was one of many nurse volunteers who helped this year at the vaccine hub in Bryan.
Miranda Meckel was one of many nurse volunteers who helped this year at the vaccine hub in Bryan.(Photo provided by AJ Renold)
Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 3:44 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Two people with ties to the Caldwell community have been killed this month in motor vehicle crashes involving a big rig along a stretch of Highway 21 west of Bryan in Brazos County.

Miranda Meckel, 26, of Caldwell died Monday night after her car struck a semi-truck that failed to yield the right of way as it entered the highway from a private driveway, said DPS.

Meckel was a nurse at St. Joseph Health and married to a Bryan police officer, KBTX has confirmed. Her profile on Facebook says she’s a native of Needville, Texas, and was a graduate of Texas A&M University.

In a post on Facebook, local American Red Cross Executive Director AJ Renold said Meckel was one of the many volunteer nurses who helped with the vaccine hub in Bryan this year.

“I’m amazed at the work of nurses and the more I learned about Miranda’s work ethic, love for her family, and devotion to caring for others, the respect I have for her just grew,” said Renold.

Earlier this month, Ryan Hooper, 29, was killed after an 18-wheeler failed to yield the right of way along the same highway at the OSR intersection.

Hooper was a beloved football and basketball coach in the Caldwell school teacher.

Caldwell ISD Athletic Director Boone Patterson said Hooper was exactly the kind of person other coaches look for in a young person in the profession.

“He had a very unique ability to relate to everybody. He was very empathetic in the way he could talk to somebody,” Patterson said. “Coach Hooper could find time for anybody, no matter what the size of the problem was. Whether it was a big issue or even the tiniest issue, to him it was important. If we all have a little piece of Coach Hooper, we’ll all be better for it.”

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