25-year-old man killed by suspected drunk driver in north Austin

Elmer Cortez-Reyes

Mugshot from Austin Police Department

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Police have identified a man killed in a north Austin crash early Monday morning.

25-year-old James A. Mares was killed when a Mitsubishi Lancer ran a red light at a high-rate of speed, hitting Mares’ Saturn sedan on the passenger side at the intersection of Rutland Drive and Mearns Meadow Boulevard around 1:30 a.m., according to APD.

Austin Police investigate deadly crash at north Austin intersection (KXAN: Frank Martinez)

Police arrested and charged Elmer Cortez-Reyes, 21, with intoxication manslaughter.

Before the accident, the arresting officer said he saw Cortez-Reyes’ car brake drastically skidding to a stop in the 9500 block of North Lamar Boulevard at the intersection of Rutland Drive.

The officer said Cortez-Reyes then quickly accelerated westbound along Rutland Drive hitting the curb as he did.

According to the arrest affidavit, Cortez-Reyes ran the red light at Rutland Drive and Mearns Meadow Boulevard, crashing into the side of Mares’ car.

Prior to the crash, Mares was driving north on Mearns Meadow Boulevard and had a green light. Police pronounced Mares dead at the scene.

After the crash police checked Cortez-Reyes for injuries. As they did police say they observed Cortez-Reyes had bloodshot eyes, and a strong odor of alcohol coming from his breath.

Cortez-Reyes was arrested and charged with intoxication manslaughter.

APD is investigating this case. Anyone with information regarding this case should call APD’s Vehicular Homicide Unit Detectives at (512) 974-4424. You can also submit tips by downloading APD’s mobile app, Austin PD.
This is Austin’s 14th fatal traffic crash of 2020, resulting in 14 fatalities this year. At this time in 2019, there were seven traffic fatalities.

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