21-year-old charged with intoxication manslaughter after deadly crash

Feb 09, 2018
  • By Mark Wilson
  • American-Statesman Staff

A 21-year-old driver has been charged with intoxication manslaughter after police say she slammed into a man walking in Central Austin early Friday and drove away.

Police responded to the incident in the 3400 block of Red River Street shortly after 3 a.m. after receiving a 911 call from a nearby resident who heard the crash, said Officer Destiny Winston, a police spokeswoman.

Winston said the caller found debris in the area, and followed it to find a man lying in the roadway.

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Officers and Austin-Travis County EMS medics, who described the man as in his 40s, they tried to save his life, but he died at the scene, Winston said.

She said officers found a limited amount of evidence where the crash happened, but managed to find the vehicle they believed was involved in the crash around East 37th Street.

Officers tracked down the driver, who they identified as Olivia Madelene Gruwell, and said they smelled alcohol while they spoke with her.

Gruwell was booked into the Travis County Jail at 6:20 a.m.

Authorities have not publicly named the pedestrian.

“I want to reiterate that this was very good police work,” Winston said. “Officers were able to quickly assess the situation, use evidence that was there available at the initial scene, and they were able to locate the suspect and the suspect vehicle and make the arrest in this horrific incident.”

Winston also said the 911 caller did the right thing in going to check out what they heard outside.

“Not only did they call 911, they went to go check and see if somebody was injured, and make sure everybody’s OK,” she said.

Winston said the investigation is ongoing and police could file additional charges against Gruwell as they learn more about the crash, she said.