Cyclist hit, killed by alleged drunk driver in east Austin

Joshua Brosemer (Austin Police Department Photo)
Joshua Brosemer (Austin Police Department Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A driver is charged with driving while intoxicated after Austin police say the person hit and killed a bicyclist in east Austin late Tuesday night.

The crash happened around 11:40 p.m. on East MLK Jr. Boulevard near Scottsdale Road. Austin-Travis County EMS gave the bicyclist, identified by the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office as Charlie Bunton Jr., 53, CPR but pronounced him dead shortly afterward.

“It’s sad. We’ve seen accidents, but this is the first where somebody actually died,” said Ray Horton, who lives along this stretch of MLK Jr. Boulevard. “They were doing CPR on the guy right in the street here.”

Joshua Brosemer (Austin Police Department Photo)
Joshua Brosemer (Austin Police Department Photo)

Police say Bunton was alone when he was hit by the driver who was heading west on MLK Jr. Boulevard. The driver, Joshua Brosemer, 38, was the only one in the vehicle and stayed at the scene.

Horton says the road is never safe for cyclists especially with a 50 mph speed limit near a hill. “The speed is what it is and [cars] actually go faster than that.”

Bicycle Advocacy group Bike Austin says marked bike lanes could’ve helped. “If we had safer infrastructure, hopefully we’d like to think the person would’ve been safe, but unfortunately since the driver was drunk, we really can’t make that decision,” says Mercedes Feris, executive director of Bike Austin.

Horton believes the road is so dangerous that bike lanes wouldn’t make a difference. “You’re going to narrow the road first to make room for the bike lanes like they did Springdale, and they’re still going to ride their bikes and the speed is still going to be the same.”

Austin police are enforcing a No Refusal initiative every night from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. through March 20.

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