AUSTIN – Police have charged a man with fleeing from a fatal crash in southeast Austin late Saturday night.
According to the arrest affidavit for 23-year-old Juan Daniel Hernandez, police were called to a crash along East William Cannon Drive around 11:05 p.m. Aug. 5. The victim, identified Tuesday as 21-year-old Melvin Omar Garay Chacon, was turning left from Elm Creek Drive onto William Cannon when his Nissan Altima was struck by a Chevrolet Silverado pickup driven by Hernandez. Chacon was pronounced dead at the scene by Austin-Travis County EMS.
A witness told police he was getting gas at the 7-11 along East William Cannon when Hernandez, someone he has known for around two years, pulled up behind his car in the Silverado. The witness said Hernandez asked him if he wanted to go do something together, and the witness said he explained he could not. He added Hernandez was alone in his truck when the conversation took place.
The witness then told police he left the gas station in his vehicle and drove east on William Cannon. He said he saw Hernandez’s truck get into the left lane and accelerate quickly before striking Chacon's Nissan. The witness said he stopped on Elm Creek Drive, but could not find Hernandez in the truck after the crash. He added he believed Hernandez was going over 60 mph in a 40 mph zone. The witness told a second APD officer he thought Hernandez was intoxicated because he could smell alcohol and that he was not acting right. The affidavit also said a woman who stopped after the crash told police that she saw a man get in an SUV and leave the scene heading westbound on William Cannon.
According to the affidavit, Hernandez’s girlfriend called police around 11:25 p.m. Aug. 5 to report his truck had been stolen. Police said she gave them a statement, but refused to sign an affidavit and started to become defensive. When she was informed that the truck had been involved in a fatal crash and DNA would determine who was driving it, police noted in the affidavit that Hernandez’s girlfriend said his blood would be found in the pickup.
Hernandez has been charged with fail to stop and render aid, a second-degree felony. Bond was not listed in the affidavit, and no booking photo is available for Hernandez as of 9:20 a.m. Tuesday.
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