Brother: ‘There should be at least a manslaughter charge’

KYLE, Texas (KXAN) – An 18-year-old was charged with failure to stop and render aid in a 2013 crash that left a Kyle man dead.

Nathaniel Eddleman turned himself in and was booked into the Hays County Jail on Thursday. Online jail records show he bonded out later in the day.

An indictment filed May 21 said Eddleman was behind the wheel when he crashed into 37-year-old Phillip Duran on April 27, 2013.

Philip Duran
Philip Duran

Duran was on a late-night run when he was hit at the intersection of FM 1626 and Kolhers Crossing. His brother, Chad Benninghoff, found Duran’s body the next day in tall grass near the intersection.

The crash happened on the night of Eddleman’s 17th birthday. According to the indictment, Eddleman “intentionally and knowingly” failed to stop and help Duran.

Car parts left at the scene led police to a vehicle parked at Hays High School a few days after the crash. At the time, police said the vehicle had been seized and that the driver was cooperating.

Police handed over their investigation to prosecutors in February.

A cross remembers Phillip Duran in Kyle at the spot where he died.

“My wife made the cross and the flags that are out there, those are placed by members of the community,” said Benninghoff.

He spoke with KXAN after returning from a trip.

“I just came from California to watch my nephew graduate from high school. That should not have been me there watching him cross that should have been his father, (Phillip)” said Benninghoff.

Chad also questions the charge in the indictment.

“There should be at least a manslaughter charge. I think about the message that we just sent to all the Hays County High School Students, all the parents that have kids and loved ones in the area, Hays County, what are we doing? We’re saying it’s okay to go ahead, hit somebody, let them die, and nothing’s really going to happen to you,” said Benninghoff.

Immediately after the crash, Benninghoff took to Facebook to ask for help in finding out who was responsible. Soon after, a witness reached out to him and police, he said.

“She informed me of what happened during the accident,” Benninghoff told KXAN last year. “Basically, a black truck was weaving down southbound 1626 and she was some distance behind it, but saw the rear headlights jolt, like it had hit something.

“They pulled over,” Benninghoff continued, “and she pulled up and asked if they needed help. They said ‘No, we don’t need help, we just hit a deer.'”

KXAN News reached out Eddleman’s attorney Thursday afternoon, but did not immediately receive a response.

Bond for Eddleman was set at $50,000.

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