Police: Car plows into Lady Bird Lake; Cesar Chavez St. briefly closed


DOWNTOWN AUSTIN

Car plows into Lady Bird Lake

Austin police briefly closed Cesar Chavez Street near Lamar Boulevard early Friday after a car plowed into Lady Bird Lake.

The car crashed into the lake around 4:20 a.m. City crews took a couple of hours to get the car out of the water before traffic was reopened in the area.

Police said the man who drove through the intersection and ended up in the lake was not injured.

— Mark D. Wilson, American-Statesman

NORTH AUSTIN

Authorities: Shooter in homicide at large

The Travis County sheriff’s office is looking for a person who shot and killed a man Thursday night, near Wells Branch and North Austin.

Deputies responded to a 911 call around 5:30 p.m., and found the man dead in the 14000 block of Thermal Drive, between Howard Lane and Wells Branch Parkway, officials said.

The shooter ran away, the sheriff’s office said, but deputies are still looking for this person.

Authorities late Thursday were urging residents in the area to lock their doors and not open them to strangers.

— Katie Hall, American-Statesman

DOWNTOWN AUSTIN

Police: Wrong-way driver cited for DWI

A 36-year-old woman was charged with driving while intoxicated (third or more), a felony, according to court records, after police say she drove the wrong way on Red River Street.

The driver, identified by police as Stefanie Marie Espinosa, was in the Travis County Jail on Friday with bail set at $20,000, jail records showed.

According to an arrest affidavit, around 1:50 a.m. on Thursday, just as bars along the busy Red River music district were preparing to let out on the first day of the South by Southwest Music Festival, an Austin police sergeant stationed at a barricade at 10th and Red River streets heard people yelling and saw a vehicle driving on the wrong side of the street on Red River. The vehicle rolled south through the intersection and began heading toward a sidewalk on the east side of Red River where people were walking.

Red River and 10th streets was the site of a fatal crash that killed four people during South by Southwest in 2014 when Rashad Owens drove through a road barricade while fleeing from police. Owens was convicted of capital murder in 2015.

No one was reported injured in Thursday’s crash.

Police later learned the Espinosa had taken the prescription drug Risperidone about 90 minutes before she crashed. She told police she was not supposed to drive while on the drug, the affidavit said. A preliminary blood test showed she had no alcohol in her system when she was arrested, the affidavit said.

— Philip Jankowski, American-Statesman



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

HIT-AND-RUN CASE: Car strikes motorcyclist, SUV then runs over motorcycle; both flee, police say 
HIT-AND-RUN CASE: Car strikes motorcyclist, SUV then runs over motorcycle; both flee, police say 

Austin police are looking for two drivers who left the scene of a hit-and-run early Sunday after the first one struck a motorcyclist and the second one ran over the victim’s motorcycle.   The motorcyclist was heading north on South Congress Avenue about 2 a.m. when someone driving a black Lexus in the opposite direction hit him while...
Group takes aim at Austin schools with names tied to Confederacy
Group takes aim at Austin schools with names tied to Confederacy

Days after one Austin district trustee was criticized for publicly calling out his peers for delaying a vote on changing school names with ties to the Confederacy, more than a dozen community members Monday night announced the creation of a work group to push the changes forward. The group of 15, formed by the East Austin Coalition for Quality Education...
Austin-area federal employees expected to return to work Tuesday
Austin-area federal employees expected to return to work Tuesday

As the federal government shutdown rolled into Monday — the only business day of the three-day closure — calls to affected Austin-area agencies went unanswered, building doors were locked and employees stayed home. At Fort Hood, 40 percent of about 6,000 civilian employees were told to not come into work. When reached by cell phone, Christopher...
New panel launching effort to identify Texas school finance fix
New panel launching effort to identify Texas school finance fix

Two years after the Texas Supreme Court suggested sweeping reforms to the school finance system, a newly formed state commission will hold the first of several meetings Tuesday in an effort to find a fix to the system by the end of December. The 13-member Texas Commission on Public School Finance, composed of school district officials, lawmakers and...
Offering a counternarrative, Cruz blames Democrats for 2013 shutdown
Offering a counternarrative, Cruz blames Democrats for 2013 shutdown

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, left reporters and cable television viewers slackjawed Monday as he said in an impromptu live exchange on MSNBC that he had tried to keep the federal government open in 2013 and blamed Democrats for the 2013 partial federal shutdown that lasted 16 days and the three-day shutdown that the Senate had just resolved. Until...
More Stories