Friend of man killed by suspected drunk driver pleads for change

Edgar Ivan Zuniga
Edgar Ivan Zuniga


AUSTIN (KXAN) — The man who police say crashed his car into a motorcycle rider downtown on Sunday morning, killing the rider, has been charged with intoxication manslaughter, according to an arrest affidavit.

The crash occurred Aug. 9 at the corner of Congress Avenue and Fourth Street at about 1:30 a.m. Police said the car driver, 25-year-old Edgar Zuniga, turned left into 27-year-old Brian Young as the motorcyclist traveled southbound. Young died at the scene of the crash, according to the affidavit.

Travis County Pretrial Services said Zuniga posted part of his $50,000 bond on Monday. His next court date is Monday, August 24.

“It makes me really angry that somebody took him away us. That somebody so careless would do that to so many people,” said Anajele Leon, a fellow rider, fried and roommate of Brian Young.

“Brian had such an impact on so many people, not just me, not just his family, there are so many other people suffering, so many and I can’t believe that somebody would do that,” said Leon about the crash.

A witness told police Zuniga drove the white Kia sedan that hit Young. An officer investigating the incident said Zuniga had a “strong odor of alcohol” and “his eyes were glassy and bloodshot,” the affidavit states.

Police said Zuniga failed portions of a field sobriety test, and they placed him under arrest. Authorities drew Zuniga’s blood, and the results of the blood tests are pending.

APD did not say where Zuniga was before he got behind the wheel.

“Don’t drink and drive. I don’t know how many people need to die, I don’t know how many people need to go through this for people to learn that,” said Leon.

Leon said Young worked for a tech company during the day and went to school at night. She said he wanted to be a nurse and was into physical fitness and health.

“He was the type of person that would take off his jacket to give it to somebody else if needed,” said Leon. “He loved to ride that was his life, he had two bikes.”

She said Young was not a drinker and met up with a group of other riders for a game of pool and was headed home the night of the crash. Police did not say where Zuniga was coming from before he got behind the wheel.

“Zuniga was reckless in the manner he was operating the vehicle due to the visibility on Congress and turning the car in front of the motorcycle,” police said in the affidavit.

Intoxication manslaughter is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison, according to the affidavit and state statutes.

“I worked really hard as a police chief to call for Uber, we called for those ride sharing opportunities because we wanted to make it additional resources available for people to make good choices,” said Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo Tuesday morning.

Chief Acevedo, along with the Austin Transportation Department and the Vision Zero Task Force held a press conference Tuesday morning to address the problem of deadly traffic crashes this year.

Austin Police said 67 people have died so far this year, which is double the amount at this time last year.

“This year, thus far as we go 8 months into this year, this year has been one of the bloodiest years in terms of traffic safety in the history of Austin Texas,” said Chief Acevedo.

Acevedo said many of the crashes, have involved pedestrians, but whether it was someone walking or behind the wheel, he said alcohol was a major factor.

“We’re now doing undercover operations in the entertainment district, but again our eyes and ears are the public if you see there’s an establishment where there’s a bad habit of a bartender or someone over serving someone as long as they have cash or credit card, let us know,” said Acevedo.

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