Driver charged in man's death


Last Updated on July 31st, 2017

A 20-year-old man was charged with felony intoxication manslaughter in the
death of one of his passengers after a crash Saturday night in northwestern Travis County.  According to an arrest affidavit filed Monday, Jose Olvera-Tovar lost control of a Ford Explorer late Saturday on General Williamson Drive near RM 620. The Explorer struck several concrete blocks, was launched into the air and struck a utility pole, according to the affidavit.

Passenger Jose Guillen-Ortiz, 29, died in the wreck. Olvera-Tovar and another passenger were treated for minor injuries at University Medical Center Brackenridge and released before Olvera-Tovar was arrested.

Driver held in fatal wreck


Last Updated on July 31st, 2017

A 25-year-old man was being held Monday in the Travis County Jail in connection with a one-vehicle wreck that killed a 19-year-old Hutto woman.

Arturo Vazquez-Corona was charged with intoxication manslaughter and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, both felonies, according to an affidavit filed Monday.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has also, placed a hold on Vazquez-Corona for eventual deportation, the affidavit said. Vazquez-Corona’s nationality was not mentioned in the affidavit.

Claudia Morales was pronounced dead at the scene of he crash Thursday night on Gattis School Road at Priem Lane, southwest of Star Ranch.

The affidavit says Vazquez-Corona lost control of his Honda and struck a brick mailbox with the rear passenger side, where Morales was sitting.

Vazquez-Corona was taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge for a blood test, according to the affidavit. Two other passengers in the car were treated for minor injuries at Brackenridge and later released.

Man killed, 2 injured in crash


Last Updated on July 31st, 2017

A man was killed and two others injured in a wreck late Saturday that occurred on General Williamson Drive in northwst Travis County, according to the sheriff’s office.

Jose Raul Guillen-Ortiz, a 29-year-old passenger, was not wearing a seat belt. He died at the scene.

A dispatcher with the Travis County sheriff’s office said that about 10:57 p.m., a 1998 Ford Explorer was driving on General Williamson Drive near RM 620 and left the roadway for unknown reasons.

The vehicle struck several concrete blocks and went airborne before striking a utility pole, the dispatcher said.

The driver and another passenger were taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge with injuries that were not life threatening.

Travis County will pay for damage to SUV


Last Updated on July 31st, 2017

Travis County commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved paying more than $12,000 to Farmers Insurance for damage caused to an SUV in a May collision with a Travis County patrol car.

On May 13, Deputy Dennis Malinger was responding to an emergency —without his lights or sirens activated —when he ran a stop sign, according to a county document.
The cruiser hit the left side of a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban owned and driven by Maria Mendez, the document said.

Malinger violated an office policy relating to response to emergency calls when he drove through the intersection without his lights and sirens, sheriff’s department spokesman Roger Wade said. On Aug. 11, Mellinger Was told to work 40 hours without pay as punishment, which he has completed, Wade said.

The $12,024.76 settlement, approved at a regular Commissioners Court meeting, was the result of a claim submitted to the county.

Both vehicles were heavily damaged, and both drivers were injured in the crash, according to the county document. The Suburban Was deemed a total loss.
Mendez was treated at a hospital; her bodily injury claim will be settled later, the document said.

Boat collision sends 3 to hospital


Last Updated on July 31st, 2017

Several people, including a 4-year-old boy, were injured during a boat collision on Lake Austin at dusk Saturday, according to emergency officials.

The boy was taken to the hospitale with a head injury.

The collision occured just before 8 p.m. when one recreational boat ran into the back of another near the Watersedge neighborhood and Mount Bonnell, according to Austin Fire Department Chief Dawn Clopton.

Austin police were investigating late Saturday and had made no arrests.   Apparently, one bout was pulling a tube, had stopped, and was struck by the other boat.

Austin-Travis County EMS officials reported that a total of 24 passengers were on the boats and that three, including the boy and one other child, were taken to the hospital.  None of the injuries are considered life-threatening.

Accident leads to kidnapping


Last Updated on July 31st, 2017

Police arrested a man Wednesday who is accused of forcing a pregnant woman to-drive him away from the scene of an accident, according to an arrest affidavit.

The rollover collision happened about 12:20 p.m. Wednesday near the FM 969 and Blue
Bluff Road. Kyle Jay Jones was the driver of the rolled-over vehicle and was seen by Travis County sheriff’s deputies leaving the scene in a car with an unidentified female driver, police say.

The woman, who is nine months pregnant, said she witnessed the accident. After the accident, Jones approached the woman and stuck an object which she believed to be a knife into her rib cage and demanded that she take him to a Texaco station on FM 69 and Delta Post, three miles from the accident.

When they reached the gas station, Jones left the woman’s car, threw a $20 bill at her and got into a white Chevrolet Trailblazer.

Jones, 23, is charged with aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony, and was in the Travis County Jail on Thursday, with bail set at $40,000.

One killed, 3 hurt in collision in Travis County


Last Updated on July 31st, 2017

One man was killed and three people were injured in a head-on collision Tuesday night on Texas 71 in Travis County, the Texas Department of Public Safety reported Wednesday.

The collision occured about 9 p.m. in the 9400 block of Texas 71 near Old Bee Cave Road.  A dispatcher with DPS said a 2000 Mitsubishi driven by Steve Mester of Austin was in the eastbound turning lane when a westbound 1989 Chevrolet two-door car hit Mester’s car.

The driver of the Chevrolet was pronounced dead at the scene, and officials said he was not wearing a seat belt.  He has not been identified yet, pending notification of next of kin.

Mester, Lisa Mester, and Claire Mabru, who were in the Mitsubishi, were taken to University Medical Center at Brackenridge with serious injuries, but they were in stable condition, officials said.

Traffic fatalities rose in 2008


Last Updated on July 31st, 2017

There were 95 traffic fatalities in Travis County in 2008, up slightly from 2007, according to’ law enforcement records.

On roads within the City of Austin, there  were 59 deaths last year.

Investigators saw a rise in motorcycle-related deaths, spurred by a summer of nearly $4-per-gallon gas, Austin police Detective Mark Breckenridge said.  “We had quite a few (fatalities) among new or inexperienced riders,” Breckenridge said.  “The high, gas prices put a lot of people on motorcycles.”

The number of motorcycle deaths rose from 15 in 2007 to 22 in 2008.

Eighteen of those were within Austin city limits, Breckenridge said. Six of those killed wore helmets, he said. Sixteen were drivers, and two were passengers.

The number of deaths of pedestrians and bicyclists declined. There were 25 pedestrians killed in 2007 and 18 in 2008. The number of bicyclists killed fell to one last year from two the year before.

The deadliest hour was between 2 and 3 a.m., when 17 of the fatalities occurred. In 2007, 12 fatal wrecks occurred during that hour.
Outside the city limits last year, there were 36 traffic deaths, up from 33 in 2007, according to Texas Department of Public Safety records.

Among them was a March double fatality on U.S. 290 East in Manor in which 18-year-old Jared Michael Blue and 41-year-old Andres Carrera were killed, In February, three teenagers — Audrey Ducote, 16, Lauren Hoffman, 17, and Randall Hibler, 16 — were killed in a wreck on Texas 71 in western Travis County near Bee Creek Road, the site of several crashes.

Medical doctors beat podiatrists in ankle turf war


Last Updated on July 31st, 2017

The Texas 3rd Court of Appeals, reversing a decision by Travis County District Judge Darlene Byrne, recently sided with the Texas Medical Association in ruling that the state board that licenses podiatrists exceeded its authority when it created a definition of the foot that included the ankle.  The podiatrists plan to appeal the court’s decision.

The Texas State Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners bypassed the Legislature to create its ankle-is-part-of-the-foot definition in 2001.   The state board that defines podiatry does not define what a foot is.  At stake is the ability of 900 podiatrists to operate on the ankle area.

Orthopedists must complete four years of medical school, a one year internship, and four years of residency to be able to operate on the ankle.  Podiatrists, on the other hand, must complete four years of podiatry school and an internship of at least one year.