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Woman, 26, charged in DWI crash

By Tim Ruzek

truzek@postbulletin.com

A 26-year-old woman is facing criminal charges for allegedly causing a three-vehicle collision while driving impaired earlier this month in northeast Austin.

Vanessa Barraza-Bustamante, 908 Fourth St. S.E., appeared June 17 in Mower District Court on two counts of criminal vehicular operation — gross misdemeanors related to injuring two people — as well as driving while impaired and having an open alcohol bottle.

A judge set bail for Barraza-Bustamante at $24,000 without conditions or $3,000 with conditions.

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According to the criminal complaint, police responded to the crash about 10:45 p.m. June 15 on the 500 block of Eighth Street Northeast.

One vehicle had significant damage to its driver’s side, with the side airbags deployed. The 25-year-old driver of the car, which was wedged against a telephone pole, had a sore arm.

A black truck’s front end was resting against a red pickup that had been moved a significant distance from its original resting place in a yard in the same block, according to the complaint.

A 24-year-old woman was sitting on a curb crying while talking to a person. The woman, who was riding in the black truck, told police her head and right knee were hurting. She was taken to Austin Medical Center by ambulance.

Police reported finding a bottle of tequila under the black truck, which was driven by Barraza-Bustamante, who fled the scene on foot, the complaint says.

Police found Barraza-Bustamante walking shortly after in the city with an odor of alcohol on her, the complaint says.

Barraza-Bustamante, who returns to court today, wasn’t injured in the crash.

About an hour after the crash, Barraza-Bustamante allegedly had a 0.18 blood-alcohol level, more than twice the state’s 0.08 limit.

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