Police: Running late for a flight, man crashes rental car on SH 71, kills two people

Crime

TRAVIS COUNTY (KXAN) — A man faces two charges of manslaughter following a crash Sunday on SH-71 that killed two people, a Travis County affidavit says.

Joseph Vincent Diaz, 21, told police he was driving a rental car to the airport and was worried he’d be late for a flight, the affidavit says.

The affidavit says Diaz was traveling very fast westbound on SH-71 in an Audi C5, weaving in and out of traffic. A 2005 Acura with two people in it attempted to cross the highway when the Audi hit the Acura.

The driver of the Acura wasn’t wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the car, the affidavit said. The driver and passenger were both pronounced dead when the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office arrived, the affidavit said.

Diaz told authorities he was driving 70-80 mph and wasn’t familiar with the car because it was a rental, the affidavit says. Earlier, the affidavit said, Diaz told medical staff at the hospital he was traveling 100 mph.

A witness reported a reckless driver to the Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office a little after 9 a.m., and the car was later identified as the one Diaz was driving, the affidavit said.

The witness told authorities he saw the Audi parked in the median close to where SH-71 intersects with SH-21. He said the Audi went into his lane, causing him to swerve to avoid a collision. The witness also said he saw the car weaving in and out of traffic.

From the time the call came in at 9:11 a.m., and the time the crash was called in at 9:18 a.m., authorities said the Audi had to travel an average speed of 100 mph to cover the distance from the location reported by the witness to the scene of the crash, the affidavit said.

Diaz is listed as in custody at Travis County Jail. His bail is set at $25,000.

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