BUDA, Texas (KXAN) — A Kyle man is facing charges of intoxication manslaughter after a fiery crash killed a passenger in his car over the weekend.
According to court documents, police were dispatched to a car that crashed into a tree at 2:30 a.m. Sunday. The crash occurred on Dove Drive and Treetop Way. By the time officers arrived, the car was engulfed in flames.
Police say 22-year-old Cade Brown was driving the vehicle that went off the road. Brown told police on the scene that he was driving around 75 to 80 mph around a curve when he went off the road and struck a tree. The speed limit on Dove Drive is 35 mph.
Brown also told police that he had been drinking for most of the day, including at two local bars before the crash. “He stated he started drinking in the afternoon, stopped drinking for a couple hours, and continued drinking until approximately 1:30 am,” court documents say.
Police on the scene report they could smell alcohol coming from Brown’s breath and body.
Brown was transported to CTMC for a medical clearance and blood draw. While at the hospital, police received a phone call that the passenger, 21-year-old Kaleb Nielson, was killed in the crash.
Local taxi drivers say they have given Nielson safe rides home in the past.
“It breaks my heart and my condolences to the family that he took that option to get in the car with that individual because we know he would have taken the smart way,” said Buda Taxi Owner Ivan Castillon.
Castillon says the area could benefit from more taxi drivers or ride-sharing drivers. Although there are options in the Buda and Hays County area, there aren’t many. “You’ll see at two in the morning where they are headed to Austin,” said Castillon.
In the middle of the day, you can see there isn’t a single car available in Buda on apps like Uber, but move a little further north and cars start to show up.
“They head down to Austin, the make more money in Austin than in Hays County,” said Castillon.
On a busy night, Castillon says there could be up to 30 or 40 drivers offering rides in Hays County, compare that to the hundreds, if not thousands of drivers in Austin. Even though more drivers in town would be considered competition, Castillon says they are welcomed.
“It’s not about us, it’s about keeping the street safe,” said Castillon.
Brown is charged with intoxication manslaughter, a second-degree felony. According to Hays County online records, Brown was released from jail on a $50,000 bond the day after the crash.
KXAN’s Lauren Lanmon is working to gather more information on this story and will have the latest on KXAN News at 6.