AUSTIN (KXAN) – A man was arrested in connection with a single-vehicle crash that resulted in a death in east Austin. The crash occurred after 2 a.m. July 18 in the 8600 block of FM 969, according to the Austin Police Department.
Records showed that 20-year-old Reinaldo Manuel Rodriguez was charged with manslaughter after the death of 22-year-old Jose Antonio Garcia.
According to APD, at approximately 2:26 a.m. July 18, a vehicle was seen by police traveling recklessly while speeding south on Decker Lane. In a report, the officer saw the vehicle speed past two stop signals.
While attempting to conduct a traffic stop, the officer noted the driver of the vehicle was traveling at approximately 75 mph—20mph over the posted speed limit. The officer then said the vehicle appeared to increase its speed and refused to pull over even after the officer activated the patrol vehicle emergency lights.
An arrest affidavit said the vehicle could be seen in the patrol vehicle’s dashboard footage quickly crossing over FM 969 before launching into the air after driving over a large bump in the road.
“This launch causes the vehicle to rotate striking a tree and causing significant damage to the vehicle,” the officer wrote in a report.
According to records, the officer approached the vehicle and saw Rodriguez on the ground immediately outside of the driver’s door, and two other people were found inside the vehicle.
Garcia was found in the front passenger seat with severe injuries, and he was later pronounced dead from the injuries he sustained during the crash. The other passenger was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
During an interview with Rodriguez, he said he and the other two men were out celebrating his 21st birthday, and a report said he acknowledged he was the person driving the vehicle when the crash occurred.
According to APD, the crash was investigated as Austin’s 59th fatal crash of 2022.