7-year-old girl killed in collision in Travis County

Last Updated on July 31st, 2017

A 7-year-old girl riding in the back seat of an SUV died Tuesday night after the vehicle was struck from behind by a pickup at a stoplight on RM 620 at Comanche Trail, near Lake Travis.

Josefina Delgado was pronounced dead at the scene about 30 minutes after the 8:33 p.m. collision, Department of Public Safety spokesman Michael Chernivec said. She was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision, he said. The drivers of both vehicles and two other passengers in the SUV were hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening, Chernivec said.

Chernivec said three people were taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge: Josefina’s mother, also named Josefina Delgado, 45; Francisco Gutierres, 59, who was driving the SUV; and the driver of the pickup, Michael Winders, 40. Bertha Delgado, 15, and Leonicio Delgado, 11, were taken to Dell Children’s Medical Center, he said.

Gutierres’ SUV was westbound on RM 620, stopped at a red light, when it was struck by Winders’ westbound pickup, Chernivec said. Investigators on Wednesday continued to investigate the circumstances of the collision. No citations have been issued, and no charges have been filed, he said.

Pedestrian struck, killed by car in Pflugerville

Last Updated on July 31st, 2017

Department of Public Safety officials have identified a woman who was struck by a car and killed Tuesday morning in Pflugerville as 63-year-old Mary Rodriguez Valdez.

A DPS dispatcher said Valdez and another person were crossing FM 1825 near Vision Drive about 6 a.m. when she was struck by a 2000 Mitsubishi Galant.

The dispatcher said Valdez and the other pedestrian, who was not injured, were both wearing dark clothing and walking in an unlighted area of the road.

No charges have been filed.

Woman dies from crash injuries in Austin

Last Updated on July 31st, 2017

Austin police said Tuesday that a 49-year-old woman involved in a wreck in Northwest Austin on December 7th died from her injuries Friday.

The wreck occurred in the 9300 block of RM 2222. Police said Estelle Edelman was stopped in the eastbound inside lanewhen her 1996 Toyota Corolla was rear ended by a 2001 Dodge Ram. Her car was pushed into oncoming traffic, police said, and her car was struck head-on by an 18- wheeler traveling west. Several more cars were involved, but no one else was seriously injured, police said.

Edelman was taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge, where she died Friday, police said.

Police are asking any witnesses to call vehicular homicide detectives at 974-4761.

Fatal wreck Sunday morning

Last Updated on July 31st, 2017

Roel Castillo, 42, died about 7:30 a.m. Sunday morning when Michael Filius, 50, ran a red light at the intersection of U.S. 183 and Lakeline Boulevard.

Filius is charged with intoxicated manslaughter in the accident with bail set at $250,000 in Williamson County.

Filius was driving a red Ford pickup heading west on Lakeline when he ran the red light and hit the white Plymouth sedan on the driver’s side.

It was the 52nd traffic fatality in Austin this year.

Woman dies in head-on wreck

Last Updated on July 31st, 2017

On woman was killed and another person was injured about 6 a.m. Friday in a head-on collision on Texas 21 near FM 3403 near Lexington.

Rene Vega, 43, of Dime Box was killed when eastbound pickup driven by Houston Sutton crossed the center line and struck Vega’s vehicle.

Vega died at the scene, and Sutton was taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge in Austin.

It was raining at the time of he collision, officials said, and no charges have been filed.

Burnet County deputy dies while heading to wreck

Last Updated on July 31st, 2017

A Burnet County sheriff’s deputy was killed early Saturday morning when his car veered off the road, possibly because he struck a deer, officials said.

About 1. a.m., Deputy Francis David Blake was responding to a wreck on Park Road 4, about two miles south of Texas 29, when he overcorrected and skidded off Texas 29, Department of Public Safety officials said. Blake’s vehicle struck a tree, went airborne, then struck another tree, DPS said.

Officials are still investigating the wreck that killed Blake, but say he might have veered off the road because
ha struck a deer. Blake was not wearing a seat belt.

Blake, 42, was pronounced dead at the scene. He had worked at the sheriffs office since October 2004, starting out as a jailer before transferring to patrol work as a field deputy this year.

Blake is Survived by his wife, Tanya, and four children. Funeral services will be held Tuesday at First United Methodist Church in Burnet.

Woman and her unborn child killed in head-on crash in Elgin

Last Updated on July 31st, 2017

A pregnant Elgin woman and her unborn child were killed in a head-on collision late Friday, according to Texas Department of Public Safety officials.

Lisa Page, 35, was driving west on FM 969 about 11:15 Am. when her vehicle collided with one driven by Rex Easley, 17, of Manor, according to a Texas Department of Public Safety report. Page, who was six months pregnant, died at the scene.

Easley sustained two broken legs and was hospitalized in serious condition.

Two passengers in Page’s vehicle were injured an 18-year-old woman who was transported to a hospital in critical condition and a 1-year-old boy who was in stable condition.

Neither driver was wearing a seatbelt, but the other passengers were, according to the report.

Department of Public Safety officials are investigating the crash.

Crash suspect has DWI

Last Updated on July 31st, 2017

A 23-year-old Austin man who was charged with murder after a fatal wreck Monday had been convicted in three drunken driving cases and had gotten his license back just over a month ago, according to his arrest affidavit and court documents.

Jaime Bonilla Alvarado, who also goes by Donnie Noel Bonilla, was charged with first-degree murder in the fatal wreck.

His three previous drunken driving offenses occurred in 2006 and 2007 in Travis County and were resolved at the same time.

Alvarado received a sentence of 80 days in jail for the three offenses and lost his driver’s license for one year. According to court documents, he was to receive his license back July 22.

A little more than a month later, Alvarado caused a collision that killed 64- year-old Robert Joel Benn, according to the arrest affidavit.

Leading up to the crash Monday night, a police officer saw Alvarado driving dangerously in his Lincoln Navigator in East Austin. While following him, the officer reported that Alvarado ran several red lights and threw two glass bottles with liquid in them out of the window.

At the intersection of Airport Boulevard and Bolm Road, police said, Alvarado ran a red light and struck Benn’s vehicle. Benn had just arrived in Austin from Tennessee on business.

Alvarado faces up to life in prison if convicted.

Karen Housewright, the state director for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said that after three drunken driving offenses, Alvarado had proven himself to be irresponsible and that more should have been done to prevent him from driving.

“Here’s a guy who shouldn’t have been on the road,” Housewright said.

Under state law, a person’s third drunken driving conviction makes the offense a third-degree felony, punishable by two to 10 years in prison.

After the second offense, state law calls for a breath-analyzing device to be installed in a person’s vehicle to inhibit the engine from starting if the person has been drinking. It was unclear whether Alvarado’s vehicle had such a device, which is usually required for a year once the driver’s license is reinstated.

“We’ll never know what we could have done to prevent this fatality from occurring,” Housewright said. “It’s just so appalling that somebody with three prior (convictions) was driving at all.”

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said Alvarado is an example of why the department has taken an aggressive stance against drunken driving.
“The death of Mr. Benn — a man who on the day his grandchild was born his life was violently taken away,” Acevedo said. “That family needs justice, and we need to ensure that this defendant, who has continued to put people in this city and county at risk, is locked away.”

Alvarado was being held in the Travis County Jail on Thursday evening, with bail set at $760,000. He also has been charged with evading arrest or detention with a vehicle, a state jail felony, and also was being held on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer.

Fleeing drunk driver kills traveler

Last Updated on July 31st, 2017

Robert Benn, who had just flown into Austin after the birth of his third grandchild, was heading from the airport to his hotel about 10 p.m. Monday when police said he neared Airport Boulevard and Bolm Road in East Austin.

Just then, investigators said, a motorist in a Lincoln Navigator suspected of drunken driving began fleeing an Austin police officer and sped through the intersection, slamming into Benn, who had a green light.

Benn, a 64-year-old business analyst,died at the scene.

Austin police said charges are pending against the driver, whose name has not been released. He was taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge with minor injuries.

Authorities said a preliminary investigation shows that an officer saw the Navigator near East Seventh Street and North Pleasant Valley Road and suspected the driver was drunk. The officer began, following the SUV, which continued to violate other traffic laws, officials said. The officer then activated his lights and tried to pull the driver over.

Police said that the driver did not stop and instead drove about 20 mph on several streets. He then turned east onto Bolm Road, gunned the engine and sped toward Airport Boulevard before running the red light.

Authorities said the pursuing officer appeared to have acted according to policy.  Austin police policy requires officers to consider the offense, the amount of traffic and, whether they know the identity of the offender before a pursuit. Once officers initiate a chase, they are required to broadcast to other officers the reason of the pursuit, the location, the direction of travel and a description of the car.

Driver sought in fatal wreck

Last Updated on July 31st, 2017

Police are looking for the driver of a pickup that crashed Sunday morning in the 6100 block of Reicher Drive in Northeast Austin, leaving a passenger dead.

About 6 a.m. Sunday, the driver lost control of a teal Chevrolet pickup, and if flipped over, police said.

The driver fled and has not been identified.

Police are looking for the driver, as well as any witnesses to the crash.  Anyone with information should call 974-4724.