Cyclist hit and dragged for blocks

An Austin woman is in critical condition after being hit and dragged underneath a moving car.
We've learned: police have arrested a suspect in this violent hit and run.

That was the scene Ella Feaster saw after bolting out of her door, when she heard a cry for help. She was sitting on her couch inside her greenwood avenue home in East Austin, late Tuesday night.

“What I saw was a young lady lying in the street. Words can really describe what we saw that night,” Feaster said.

According to an arrest affidavit, the victim in the road was Elizabeth English. She was riding her bike along airport and Martin Luther King Boulevard, when a Dodge Ram pickup struck her. The driver dragged English almost a half mile, ending up on Greenwood Avenue.  Police say the driver, Artemio Avila took off.

“I became angry that somebody would do a human life that way, like she was nothing,” Feaster said.

The marks on the pavement are still there, showing where the suspect dragged English. Police records say she lost part of her buttocks, her right pelvis, and her lower spine was exposed.

“She didn't look human. She looked like an animal initially. Then after seeing that, we noticed it was a person,” Roger Taylor, witness, said.

Police tracked down Avila the next day and took him into custody. Cycling organizations are already reaching out to investigators assigned to English’s case, trying to help.

“In situations like this, we reach out to the families. We try to show there is a support system,”

Stunned by what they saw that night, neighbors are also extending their kind words and support, in a time when fate was on this cyclist's side.

“What he did, he needs to pay for that, because that was a human life,” Feaster said.

He may just do that if found guilty. Avila is being charged with failure to stop and render aid. English is in University Medical Center Brackenridge.

To follow her recovery progress on Facebook, click here

To donate to her GoFundMe, click here

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