AUSTIN, Texas – A driver has been accused of being intoxicated and hitting a pedestrian with his vehicle in Austin over the weekend. Upon impact, the person crashed through the windshield as the impaired motorist traveled at least a half-mile with the body before stopping at a beer garden, according to court documents.
Police in Austin responded at 10:36 p.m. Saturday to the 10000 block of Menchaca Road, just south of West Slaughter Lane, the Statesman reported.
Witnesses told officers they saw a 2014 white Ford Focus hit a person walking near Slaughter Lane and then drive south on Menchaca Road, an arrest affidavit says.
The astonishing part of the story includes the body of the pedestrian crashing through the Ford’s windshield and was found in the passenger seat of the vehicle a half-mile south from where the crash occurred, the affidavit says. The decedent was not identified.
The pedestrian had extreme, traumatic injuries to the head and some body parts had been detached, the affidavit says.
Witnesses said the driver calmly walked away from the vehicle after parking it south of where the pedestrian was hit. The impaired man has been identified as Paul Joseph Garcia, 24, the affidavit says.
Garcia walked into South Austin Beer Garden at 10700 Menchaca Road barefoot and “in a manner that caught the attention of the other patrons,” according to the affidavit.
He was not served alcohol at the beer garden and officers detained him for further investigation, the Statesman reported.
Officers found Garcia with blood evidence and other debris on him, which matched “the blood and body tissue found coated in the interior of the vehicle,” the affidavit says.
As a result, officers conducted a series of field sobriety tests on Garcia and determined he was too impaired to be driving, among other crimes. Consequently, they took him into custody and subsequently booked him at the Travis County Correctional Complex.
The pedestrian was pushing a shopping cart when the collision occurred, police said. The roadway lacked skid marks at the area of impact.
Debris, including car parts and body parts, lined the road for a half-mile from where the person was hit, according to the affidavit.
“The impact with the vehicle pushed the cart into a cluster of mailboxes with enough force to bend a two-inch diameter, galvanized steel post that supported mailboxes,” the affidavit says.
Moreover, witnesses reported seeing the Ford without headlights on and being driven recklessly at a high speed.
Garcia was charged with intoxication manslaughter and accident involving injury because he was driving without regard for the safety of others, including “continuing to drive for one-half miles with a mangled corpse in the vehicle,” the affidavit says.
He remained in the Travis County Correctional Complex on Tuesday with combined bail on the charges set at $110,000, according to online records.