Driver Admitted to Smoking ‘Kush’ Before South Austin Crash That Killed Pedestrian, Affidavit Says
A pedestrian died after a traffic accident in South Austin on Sunday, August 23, 2020. The accident occurred about 3:56 on Sunday afternoon near the Austin Emergency Center in the 4300 block of S. Lamar Boulevard. Austin-Travis County EMS responded to the crash.
A vehicle was traveling southbound on South Lamar Boulevard. The driver has been identified as 57-year-old Rene Conde. Conde was speeding toward an intersection where a vehicle had stopped in the left turn lane at a red light.
Conde allegedly swerved to the left and left the road. The vehicle struck a 31-year-old pedestrian standing in the median. The vehicle also hit the base of a traffic control device and a street sign.
Emergency responders pronounced the pedestrian dead at the scene. First responders freed Conde from his vehicle and took him to the hospital. A passenger in Conde’s vehicle did not appear to sustain injuries.
Austin Police Department officers went to the hospital. According to an affidavit, the officers noted that Conde’s eyes were bloodshot and red. He also allegedly had an impaired perception of time.
Allegedly, Conde told officers that he had smoked kush, which is a synthetic form of marijuana, before the car accident. Conde faces charges of intoxication manslaughter, which is a second-degree felony in Texas.
DUI Accidents Continue to Kill Thousands Each Year
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs continues to be a threat to motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and others who use our roads. During 2018, 10,511 people died in drunk driving accidents.
In 2019, there were 17,751 DUI accidents reported throughout Texas, which resulted in 473 fatalities. There were 1,176 drunk driving accidents in Austin that year, which resulted in 12 fatalities.
When a person is killed or injured in a drunk driving accident, the intoxicated driver can face one or more criminal charges. Drunk driving includes driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, the drunk driver may also face civil penalties.
Family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit against the drunk driver seeking damages caused by the death of a family member. When a DUI accident causes injuries, the victims may file personal injury claims against the drunk driver.
A personal injury lawsuit for a DUI accident could result in compensation for damages including:
- Past and future medical care and treatment
- Past and future cost of personal care
- Past and future loss of income, wages, commission, bonuses, benefits, and other forms of income
- Physical, emotional, and mental pain and suffering
- Disfigurement, disability, scarring, and impairments
- Loss of enjoyment of life or quality of life
The amount of compensation a person may receive from a DUI accident claim depends on the severity of the injuries, the amount of financial losses, and other factors.
The injuries that victims may sustain in a drunk driving accident vary. Some victims may sustain mild injuries, while other victims may sustain catastrophic injuries. Examples of injuries that a person might suffer because of a DUI accident include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Head and brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Amputations and loss of limbs
- Chest injuries
- Airbag and seat belt injuries
- Damage to internal organs
Immediate medical attention after an accident is in the best interest of the victims. Prompt medical attention reduces the chance of injuries becoming worse. It also improves the chance of recovering full compensation for damages in a personal injury claim.
What Should You Do After a DUI Accident in Austin?
Call 911 immediately to report the accident.
Do not confront a drunk driver. Intoxicated drivers are unpredictable. Tell the police officers you suspect the other driver may be drunk and let the police officers handle the situation.
If witnesses stop at the accident scene, ask each witness for his or her name and contact information. Some witnesses might leave before the police have an opportunity to obtain a statement. Also, try to take pictures of the accident scene if you can do so safely.
Make sure that you see a doctor as soon as possible to document your injuries. Follow your doctor’s treatment plan and keep detailed notes about your recovery, such as your pain level and how your injuries impact your daily life. It can also be helpful to take pictures of your injuries as you heal.
As soon as you are able to do so, contact a car accident attorney to discuss your claim. Your attorney advises you about the steps you need to take to protect your legal rights. An attorney can also help you avoid many of the mistakes people make that hurt their personal injury claims.