Austin, TX- An Austin man, and well-known local blogger was killed early Saturday morning when he was struck by a drunken driver on an I-35 northbound frontage road. This tragedy occurred just a little over a month after a drunk driver killed four pedestrians at the SXSW music festival.
The driver responsible for the accident, Wade Atwood, told police he pulled out of the Wendy’s fast-food restaurant on the frontage road near 7th Ave, and was driving in the left lane when he struck a pedestrian. Police were unclear whether the pedestrian was in the middle of the road or in on a sidewalk when he was stuck, My Fox Austin reported.
The pedestrian who was later identified only by his first name Kelly, survived the initial impact and was taken to Breckenridge Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead.
Kelly was known to many around Austin because of his Twitter page @atxhipsters and his blog ATXHipsters.com, both of which has hundreds of thousands of followers. Kelly preferred to remain anonymous never divulging his identity in his blogs or Twitter pages, but hours after his death, close friends revealed his identity and wrote about their loss.
Blogger Ben Wintle gave homage to his friend and discussed how much Kelly detested drunk drivers. Wintle wrote:
“Kelly hated drunk driving, he was known to let people who were too drunk in his bed while he slept on the couch. He and I had extensive conversations about the need for better public transportation in this city. The last time I spoke with him was two weeks ago and we brought it up then.”
Atwood, 40, stayed on the scene of the accident and a breathalyzer test revealed his blood alcohol content was 0.102 and half an hour after the accident occurred. Atwood told police he had only a couple of beers with friends earlier that night. He later refused to submit to a blood test.
Atwood has been charged with DWI; it is unclear if he faces any additional charges for Kelly’s death.
The Austin Statesman reported that just hours after this accident, another drunk driver drove through the crime scene nearly striking policemen at the scene.
Ramiro Sosa, 35, the driver of the second accident was charged with driving while intoxicated and possession of marijuana.
Police haven’t charged Atwood with Kelly’s death, which is unusual even seeing, but that could change. When a person is charged with a DUI accident or a simple DUI they face a jail term, loss of driving privileges and thousands of dollars in fine, penalties and other fees. That’s just the beginning, a DUI has many more consequences and a conviction will haunt the offender for years.
DWI offenders need to have expert legal help regardless of how minor they may think their charges are. To have any hope of beating a conviction or negotiating for a plea bargain, the charged individual really needs hire a DUI attorney with a successful record of helping their clients avoid conviction.