Man charged with intoxication manslaughter in deadly crash

Thomas Costley/KXAN
Thomas Costley/KXAN

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A man on his way home from work was killed in a crash early Saturday by a suspected drunk driver, according to an arrest affidavit.

Joel Kitchens was sitting at a stoplight on the westbound US Highway 290 service road at Springdale Road when a car driven by John Rudy Reyes, 34, slammed into the back of him around 3:30 a.m., the document said.

Reyes admitted to drinking two beers earlier in the night before the group he was with headed towards a home near East William Cannon Drive, the warrant said. Reyes told police he then drove two friends to the Landing Strip, 747 US Highway 183, to retrieve a cell phone.

Reyes said by time they left the club his two passengers had passed out and he began driving in the direction he thought was south. After seeing signs directing him to Pflugerville, he realized he was going the wrong way, the warrant said.

The group later stopped at a gas station for directions before getting back onto the road. Reyes said he was instructed to take an exit and was talking with a back seat passenger to get directions when they hit Kitchens’s car, the document said.

Reyes told police he never saw Kitchens’s car.

Two hours after the crash, a test showed Reyes’s blood-alcohol level was .066, the warrant said. He suffered a broken rib and lacerations to his leg in the crash.

A front seat passenger had a concussion and a rib fracture, and the man sitting in the back seat suffered from a possible torn colon.

Reyes was charged with intoxication manslaughter and bond was set at $75,000.

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