Driver in deadly crash won’t face felony charges

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A driver who was accused of hitting and killing a pedestrian while drunk will not face felony charges.

Kelly Noel, 32, died in that crash on the Interstate 35 frontage road in April.

Noel ran the popular Twitter account @atxhipsters.

KXAN also found Noel himself was also legally drunk when he died.

The Travis County District Attorney’s Office confirms the grand jury considered an intoxication manslaughter charge against 40-year-old Wade Atwood. The grand jury instead indicted Atwood on the misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated.

“I think my reaction is similar to everyone else’s. It’s quite a surprise. I think shocking,” said Neil Diaz, one of Noel’s friends. “I personally feel it’s disappointing, and I feel that many of us are going to have questions about the judicial system.”

Court documents show the driver, Atwood, blew a 0.102 on a breath test after the crash.

KXAN confirmed through the medical examiner’s office that tests showed Noel had a blood alcohol content of 0.27 — more than three times the legal limit to drive.

“Kelly was making the making the decision to walk home and not drive, and that is an excellent option that many of us should follow,” Diaz said.

“What little bit of evidence I have received to date — it simply shows that a tragic accident happened,” said Dax Garvin, Atwood’s attorney. “I think we all have to remember: Innocent until proven guilty.”

Atwood’s attorney says his client’s the next court date is next month.

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