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Van driver cited for reckless driving after crashing into river

The driver of a van that ended up in the Cedar River on Tuesday has been cited for reckless driving, said Austin Police Chief Brian Krueger.

Ray Ronald Freese, 62, of Austin, was uninjured in the accident.

The initial report to police came in the form of a complaint, which alleged Freese almost struck a group of people on Main Street.

According to the police report, Sgt. Joseph Milli caught up with the van as it traveled eastbound on Ninth Avenue Southeast.

Freese, who was alone in the vehicle, reportedly slowed down, then ran a stop sign. When Milli activated his emergency lights, the van accelerated rapidly across Fourth Street Southeast onto the bike path in Whittier Park.


An eyewitness said Freese drove down the bike path, which curves near the river. The van entered the river and turned onto its passenger side.

Milli waded into the water and located Freese in the vehicle. Freese "said he didn't know what had happened," Krueger said. "He said he saw the river coming, but couldn't avoid it."

Freese was taken to Austin Medical Center, where he was treated and released.

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