Police ID cyclist killed in crash
A bicyclist who died Tuesday night after being hit by a vehicle has been identified as 53-year-old Charlie Bunton Jr., according to the Travis County medical examiner.
Bunton was riding his bike on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard near Scottsdale Road, just east of Springdale Road, around 11:45 p.m. when he was hit, police said.
Austin-Travis County EMS medics arrived at the scene within a few minutes of the crash and began performing CPR to try to save Bunton’s life, but he died from his injuries.
Investigators shut down traffic on Martin Luther King for several hours while they investigated the crash.
Austin police said the driver who hit Bunton, identified as 38-year-old Joshua Christopher Brosemer, stayed at the scene and was arrested under suspicion of drunken driving.
Representatives of Bike Austin released a statement on Wednesday, sending their condolences to Bunton’s family, but scolding Austin police for blaming the cyclist, at least in part, for the crash.
“In interviews following the crash, members of the Austin Police Department seemed to place the blame for the crash on the bicyclist, who reportedly wasn’t wearing adequate reflective equipment,” the statement said. “Too often, bicyclists and pedestrians are scapegoated by law enforcement when a fatal or incapacitating crash occurs.”
— Mark D. Wilson, American-Statesman
Police: Woman injured after van thief hits her twice
A woman sitting in her vehicle was injured Wednesday after the driver of a stolen van hit her car twice, including once after police had stunned him near the drive-through lane of an Austin fast food restaurant, an arrest affidavit said.
The driver of the stolen van, Rocky Wayne Huff, 26, of Manor, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and unauthorized use of a vehicle. The assault charge is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. The unauthorized use of a vehicle charge is a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in prison.
The affidavit said the incident began when authorities in Round Rock “asked Austin police for help in finding a stolen 2017 Dodge van they had tracked to Austin.”
Austin police officers found the stolen van around 9:31 a.m. Tuesday in line behind two other cars in the drive-through lane of a Jack in the Box restaurant near McNeil Drive and San Felipe Boulevard, the affidavit said.
When the officers confronted the driver, later identified as Huff, he turned the wheels of the stolen van and crashed into the rear of a Dodge Charger parked in front.
Huff then put the vehicle in reverse and rammed into another car parked behind him, the affidavit said. When Huff began to drive the vehicle forward again, the officer caught up, broke one of the stolen vehicle’s windows with his baton and used his stun gun on Huff, the affidavit said.
The van continued to move forward and bumped into the same Dodge Charger it had already hit once, according to the affidavit. Huff was arrested afterward, the document said.
The driver of the Dodge Charger that was hit twice later told police she had pain in one of her shoulders, the affidavit said.
Huff was being held in the Williamson County Jail Wednesday with bail set at $60,000.
— Claire Osborn, American-Statesman