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#1 2013-03-14 15:51:14

Donald Lewis
Member
Registered: 2009-07-11
Posts: 170

Drunk TX legislator hits a car, which is then pushed into a cyclist

At least she didn't drive away to later say she thought she hit a deer at Congress and Barton Springs.  http://www.kxan.com/dpp/news/texas_lege … d-with-dwi

Glad to hear the cyclist does not have life-threatening injuries, but what qualifies as not life-threatening could still be pretty awful. 

In no way should this be taken as "blame the victim," PLEASE, but I wouldn't be out on my bike at 2:00 AM, especially with SXSW.  Of course, some people work downtown until club closing time and don't have a choice. 

I am 110% for blood draws and anything else our police chief can do for DWI enforcement.   

Don in Austin

Last edited by Donald Lewis (2013-03-14 16:42:39)

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#2 2013-03-14 21:06:54

owlman
Member
Registered: 2011-12-16
Posts: 93

Re: Drunk TX legislator hits a car, which is then pushed into a cyclist

The Statesman reported "scrapes and bruises" for the person on the bike, which--while I'm sure it's not pleasant--is a relief considering how bad it could have been if that other car was not in the way.

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#3 2013-03-15 05:41:14

AusTexMurf
Member
From: South Austin
Registered: 2008-11-21
Posts: 437

Re: Drunk TX legislator hits a car, which is then pushed into a cyclist

I was right behind this whole thing on the Congress bridge. I was one of two people who ran to the wreck to pull her keys and kill the engine to her car immediately after the wreck to prevent her from leaving. She nailed a silver Fiat which was stopped at the light at Congress and Barton Springs. The Fiat hit at least 1, I thought 2, bicycles in the westernmost lane on Congress. The pedicab with operator and three passengers in front of the bicyclists was also possibly impacted. Bunch of folks ejected onto the middle of Congress, in the street. The drunk TX legislator was exactly that, very drunk, in my opinion. I don't think she even fully understood the depth of the situation. Others were helping to get people out of the streets. A pedestrian and I ran to her car to prevent her from leaving, as has happened on the Congress bridge before.

The passenger in the rear seat of the Fiat was in bad shape. It took EMS and the fire dept quite some time to get him out.

Oh. And she barely even touched her brakes. Just a quick chirp and then whammo. At a pretty good clip.

Driving wasted, 135? lb woman in a 3K lb weapon.

Crazy.

Edit:

Luckily, the only car/bicycle direct impact was the one mentioned when the Fiat was slammed forward. There were two bikes down in the street together, but the other must have been dropped after the wreck or knocked down by the hit cyclist or bike. The pedicab was in front and not directly involved in the accident. The passengers and operator bailed out to assist. That part was very confusing because it was around 2:25am and all of the cars were flying across the bridge to get free and clear of downtown. Some people jumped out in the street to block the rightmost lane from the oncoming drunken drivers at bar closing.

Also very apparent and worth noting that most if not all of the motorists around the accident and passing through just left the scene as quickly as possible. I am sure that most had been drinking, of course. They were just wanting to get the heck out of dodge. The people that were helping were the pedestrians, cyclists, and pedicabbers.

Last edited by AusTexMurf (2013-03-16 04:21:26)

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#4 2013-03-15 07:04:03

Donald Lewis
Member
Registered: 2009-07-11
Posts: 170

Re: Drunk TX legislator hits a car, which is then pushed into a cyclist

She said on Facebook: "I appreciate the support I have received from my family, my colleagues and my friends."  WTF???  What did she do to DESERVE any support?  Spoken more like a victim than a perpetrator.  All too typical of the prevalent notion that such an occurrence is an "accident."  Let us hope her career is over.

Don in Austin

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#5 2013-03-15 15:57:45

rich00
Member
Registered: 2010-01-18
Posts: 166

Re: Drunk TX legislator hits a car, which is then pushed into a cyclist

Think about how easily this could have led to the death of numerous people. (cyclists and pedicab occupants/driver.) She should never be allowed to drive again and receive jail time.

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#6 2013-03-15 16:33:21

Donald Lewis
Member
Registered: 2009-07-11
Posts: 170

Re: Drunk TX legislator hits a car, which is then pushed into a cyclist

rich00 wrote:

Think about how easily this could have led to the death of numerous people. (cyclists and pedicab occupants/driver.) She should never be allowed to drive again and receive jail time.

Indeed, several people owe their lives to the presence of the Fiat behind them.  And no way this was one beer and one mixed drink.

Don in Austin

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#7 2013-03-15 18:00:37

Runzilla
Member
Registered: 2011-02-09
Posts: 7

Re: Drunk TX legislator hits a car, which is then pushed into a cyclist

Same location. Different result.
http://www.kxan.com/dpp/news/local/aust … on-Congres
I'm glad three aren't going to be 2 ghost bikes there.

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#8 2013-03-16 11:10:52

AusTexMurf
Member
From: South Austin
Registered: 2008-11-21
Posts: 437

Re: Drunk TX legislator hits a car, which is then pushed into a cyclist

One thing I found ironic about the whole thing is that Bike Austin was set up at the Hope East Side Farmers' Market this past Sunday.
One item on their agenda was to generate support for a safer Congress bridge for cyclists.

Last edited by AusTexMurf (2013-03-17 14:28:19)

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#9 2013-03-25 04:03:30

rich00
Member
Registered: 2010-01-18
Posts: 166

Re: Drunk TX legislator hits a car, which is then pushed into a cyclist

AusTexMurf wrote:

One thing I found ironic about the whole thing is that Bike Austin was set up at the Hope East Side Farmers' Market this past Sunday.
One item on their agenda was to generate support for a safer Congress bridge for cyclists.

Yes, this is partly due to the death of "Chops" Ramirez last year when he was hit by drunk driver on the bridge.  This bridge is a huge gapping spot in central Austin bike-ability. If there aren't too many pedestrians, I personally use and advise taking the sidewalk. Drivers love to speed across this bridge and love that right lane. I cringe when I see a 15mph bike with those cars flying up behind them.

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#10 2013-03-25 04:34:07

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 947
Website

Re: Drunk TX legislator hits a car, which is then pushed into a cyclist

From the Chronicle:

Don't Legislate Drunk, Just Drive that Way
If the Texas House's response to Rep. Naoimi Gonzalez, D-El Paso, getting busted for drunken driving is any measure, don't expect any new harsh DUI laws.  The highly touted Dem was arrested on March 14 after allegedly driving her BMW into another car, shoving that one into a cyclist.  After public outrage about the soft sentencing of former House staffer Gabrielle Nestande for the 2011 drunken-driving death of Courtney Griffin, Gonzalez might have been expected to keep a low profile.  Instead, on March 18, she made a speech from the floor apologizing to her constituents and colleagues.  While she seemed shaken and contrite, her fellow lawmakers treated her like a hero, with a standing ovation, bouquets, and high fives as she returned to her seat.  Furious at their response, Texas MADD public policy liaison Bill Lewis said, "Cut out the flowers."

It's nice to see some outrage at the Chronicle, given that this is the same paper that continued to fawn all over Senator Barrientos after he was arrested for drunk driving.  But the legislature's response was unbelievable -- even by (low) Texas standards.

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#11 2013-04-15 22:10:15

Donald Lewis
Member
Registered: 2009-07-11
Posts: 170

Re: Drunk TX legislator hits a car, which is then pushed into a cyclist

[APD says blood alcohol level was 0.206!]

http://www.myfoxaustin.com/story/219829 … on-results

And by the time it was drawn it had probably dropped a little from peak value, although I don't know the exact timeline.

Don in Austin

Last edited by Donald Lewis (2013-04-15 22:11:21)

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