AUSTIN, Texas - An arrest warrant has been issued for a man involved in a North Austin crash that left another man dead. The man has been identified as Elmer de Jesus Cortez-Reyes.
The crash happened on February 10 and involved two vehicles.
Court documents state that an Austin Police Department officer was on patrol in a marked vehicle in the 9500 block of North Lamar Boulevard when observed a Mitsubishi traveling northbound on North Lamar in the left turn lane.
The driver of the Mitsubishi applied his brakes and slid for about 75 feet before coming to a stop in the middle of the intersection of North Lamar and Rutland Drive.
Police say the Mitsubishi remained in the intersection for several seconds and obstructed the roadway.
The responding officer says he turned northbound onto North Lamar into the left lane and as he was completing his turn he observed the Mitsubishi accelerate rapidly while attempting to turn westbound onto Rutland Drive. The Mitsubishi's tires lost traction and the rear passenger tire struck the curb on the north side of Rutland Drive.
The officer says he then turned westbound onto Rutland and observed the Mitsubishi continue to accelerate and saw the vehicle lose traction and strike the north side curb again with its rear passenger tire.
The driver of the Mitsubishi, court documents state, was able to regain control and continue to go westbound in the 800 block of Rutland Drive. The officer turned on his overhead police lights but did not engage in pursuit while the Mitsubishi continued to accelerate.
The driver of the Mitsubishi then ran a red light at Rutland and Mearns Meadow. A driver in a Saturn was heading northbound on Mearns Meadow and was struck on its passenger side.
The driver of the Saturn was identified as James Anthony Mares. Mares was pronounced dead at the scene. A GoFundMe has been set up for a memorial service for Mares and legal fees.
The officer says he observed Cortez-Reyes in the driver's seat of the Mitsubishi and assessed him for injuries. He found none but observed Cortez-Reyes to have "bloodshot, watery, and glassy eyes and a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath."
A driving while intoxicated (DWI) unit officer was called to the scene. The officer says, based on his initial observations and the results of field sobriety tests, that his opinion is that Cortez-Reyes "lost of the normal use of his physical and mental faculties necessary to safely operate a motor vehicle by the introduction of alcohol to his body."