Illegal driver fled the scene, but was found and arrested the next day, now ICE has placed a detainer on him.
AUSTIN, TX (KXAN) — A Texas bicyclist was left with severe, disfiguring injuries after a man hit her with a truck and dragged her several blocks. The driver, Artemio Avila, faces charges for failing to stop and render aid after hitting the young woman.
On March 29 just after 10 p.m., officers received reports of a crash involving a bicyclist. According to the affidavit, Elizabeth English was dragged underneath the vehicle for several blocks before the driver took off. Police say the bicyclist was dragged for nearly half-a-mile, from Airport Boulevard to Greenwood Avenue.
While the driver didn’t stop, witnesses reported hearing her screaming as the truck dragged her for four-tenths of a mile. Witnesses were able get a description of the vehicle as a Dodge Ram pickup with an attached camper shell. The next day, an Austin Police Department officer on his way home from work noticed the suspect’s truck. He was familiar with the suspect vehicle because he was involved in the crash scene investigation the night before. Damage observed to the vehicle included blood on the hood and fresh paint scrapes.
An on-duty officer came and followed the vehicle into Kyle, where the driver was pulled over for a traffic stop. The driver, Artemio Avila, was arrested but he claimed he did not know anything about the crash, according to court documents. Avila eventually admitted to police he was involved in the crash, claiming to have heard a “slight bump on the passenger side of the truck,” as stated in the affidavit. “He was more worried about himself than the fact that he was killing a fellow human being and that is very disturbing,” said Houston.
Avila is being held on a $100,000 bond. He is also being held on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer. The agency tells KXAN, “U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) placed a detainer with Travis County Jail on Artemio Gomez-Avla on March 31. ICE is focused on smart and effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes the removal of convicted criminal aliens, recent border crossers and immigration fugitives who have failed to comply with final orders of removal issued by the nation’s immigration courts.”
On a Facebook page dedicated to Elizabeth’s recovery, it says she’s communicating through a white erase board. Friends say despite her injuries, she is smiling, upbeat and giving everyone the thumbs up.
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