Wrong-way driver faces intoxicated manslaughter charges

The wrong-way driver was going northbound in the southbound lanes.
The wrong-way driver was going northbound in the southbound lanes.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The woman who police say was driving the wrong-way on IH-35 last week is facing second degree felony charges for intoxicated manslaughter, according to an affidavit.

Megan Mendez
Megan Mendez

The driver of the Toyota Camry that drove northbound in the southbound lane of IH-35 on Aug. 19 has been identified as 23-year-old Michelle Orduna. In the affidavit, police say Orduna got onto the freeway at the 236B exit ramp — which is the East 41st Street location. Police say Orduna struck a Toyota Scion head-on, killing the driver, 26-year-old Clayton Keller of San Antonio.

The passenger in Orduna’s car, 23-year-old Megan Mendez of New Braunfels, was transported in critical condition to University Medical Center Brackenridge Hospital after the crash but died from her injuries she sustained in the crash on Aug. 20.

Orduna was also taken to the hospital for critical injuries. The affidavit reports that an officer in the room with Orduna could smell a strong odor of alcohol indicating that she has been drinking and driving. A field sobriety test could not be conducted given the critical condition Orduna was in.

The affidavit said on Aug. 21 a search warrant was issued for Orduna’s blood sample from the day of the crash. After testing her blood alcohol concentration police found that she had the equivalent of a .17 percent BAC. The legal limit in Texas is .08 percent.

Daniel Ibarra works at Gregory Gym on the UT campus, that’s how he became friends with Mendez. Mendez graduated from UT back in May.

“It’s one big family there and we support each other through thick and thin,” said Ibarra.

Police say Orduna is still in the hospital and was booked and charged by proxy.

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