view of street intersection with pedestrian car collision

Driver in Pedestrian-Car Crash Arrested

Austin Pedestrian Dies 5 Days After Hit-and-Run

AUSTIN, TX | Austin police have arrested the man who was accused of running over a south Austin pedestrian. Police say the man fled the scene after the crash.

The August 20th crash took place at the intersection of William Cannon Drive and Bill Hughes.

Police investigation show that Douglas Hohenshell, age 58, was walking northbound in the crosswalk at the intersection. The driver of a black and white Chevey Malibu, 23-year-old Jesus Juarez was traveling westbound close to the intersection.

The driver, Jaurez, drove off after hitting Hohenshell. Police located the driver shortly after the crash. Juarez faces charges for failure to stop and render aid. According to police statements a toxicology report is pending and has not been released during the investigation of the crash.

According to police, Hohenshell failed to follow the crosswalk light indicating when it is safe for pedestrians to cross. They said that he did not follow the pedestrian control light for the crosswalk. Hohenshell was taken to South Austin Medical Center, where he died five days later due to his life-threatening injuries.

The intersection where the crash took place is in front of Bedicheck Middle School, where pedestrian students travel to school.

APD is still investigating the incident and asks that anyone with information contact the Vehicular Homicide Unit Detectives at (512) 974-5576.

Hit-and-Run Pedestrian Crashes on the Rise in 2016

Fatal crashes are always tragic – but even more so when they involve pedestrians, bicyclists who were not at fault in a crash.

According to police reports, hit-and-run crashes are on the rise in 2016.

  • As of Aug 30, there have been 10 fatal hit-and-run pedestrian or bicycle vs. vehicle crashes.
  • At this time last year, there were 4 fatal hit-and-run crashes.
  • During 2015, Austin’s deadliest year on record, 11 fatal hit-and-run crashes occurred.
  • As of Aug. 30, 2015 there were 75 fatal traffic fatalities.
  • As of Aug. 30 2016, there have been 45 traffic fatalities.

There is an overall increase in fatal traffic crashes, and when controlled for the number of total pedestrian accidents the number is even larger.

Patterns Among Fatal Austin Hit-and-Run Crashes

It is tricky business to make generalizations among such anecdotal information. There are no indications that age or race had any role in hit-and-run victims. Victims ages ranged from 3-year-old Ethan Hernandez who was hit while crossing the street with family on a Sunday afternoon on Cameron Road. The oldest victim was 72-year-old Susan Hard, who left her Austin home to visit her twin sister and walk to a doctor’s appointment on a Tuesday morning.

Making sense of loss and hit-and-run may never come. But evidence suggests a common thread: high speed roadways played a role in most crashes. In at least one report, (where the victim was not identified) authorities note that pedestrians were “prohibited from the area” or that it was unsafe walking conditions for a pedestrian.

Here’s a breakdown of where the Austin crashes happened:

  • 9700 Block Lake Creek Parkway | 40 mph
  • 4800 Block East Riverside Drive | 35 mph
  • 2300 Block East Riverside Drive | 35 mph
  • 5700 block of Mopac service road and FM 2222 | 50+ mph
  • 1100 block South IH 35 | 60+ mph
  • 100 North IH-35 northbound proper
  • 5700 block of Cameron Road | 35 mph
  • 5500 block of N IH 35 | 60+ mph
  • Bluff Springs Road at Chateau Village Way | 40 mph
  • William Cannon | 45 mph

Notice something? All sites of these fatal crashes had speed limits 35 miles per hour or higher. Add speeding, distraction, or possibly running a red light to the mix? Absolutely fatal.

Austin car accidents happen all the time – but fatal injury to pedestrians doesn’t and advocates of vision zero believe all crashes are preventable. Many advocates have zeroed in on the hazards bicyclists and pedestrians face on East Riverside drive. Bicycling education and advocacy group, Bike Austin, highlighted the hazards of the road with their “Survive Riverside” rides. It’s a much shorter stretch of road, but it was true in 2015 and remains true in 2016 that the highly congested roadway sees a disproportionate number of fatal crashes. Read here to see what’s next for East Riverside.

Identifying the cause and preventing crashes like these is important to our community. Susan Hard was hit by an unidentified driver who ran a red light. Statements from friends and family describe her as someone who “always surrounded herself with bright colors that mirrored her personality.” Distracted driving, drunk driving, and running red lights are not car “accidents.” Preventing losses such as Douglas Hohenshell, Susan Hard, or 3-year-old Ethan Hernandez is a goal every person in Austin can take part in.

Austin Car Accident Lawyers

Jason McMinn and Justin McMinn are experienced personal injury lawyers with a strong record of success. The lawyers at McMinn Law Firm advocate for the justice their clients deserve by providing caring, comprehensive and relentless legal counsel. Call Austin car accident lawyers Jason McMinn and Justin McMinn today for a free consultation.