local man injured, idiot

you know, we really could use an \”austin in the news\” category. get on that, al. it can be a graphic of a can of spam or something. anyway. from the 5/21/08 edition of the austin daily herald:

Man tries to jump Skinner’s Hill in car By MIA SIMPSON/mia.simpson@austindailyherald.com A 32-year-old man has been charged with criminal operation of his vehicle after he allegedly left the scene of a single-car accident with his injured passenger after landing his sedan in a garden near Skinner’s Hill. Almer Joe Mitchell has been charged with three counts of felony criminal vehicular operation following the incident, in which a witness said Mitchell had tried and failed to “jump Skinner’s Hill” at 80 mph, according to the criminal complaint. He allegedly admitted to being under the influence of alcohol at the time. The complaint said police found Mitchell’s 1995 Nissan Maxima in a garden southwest of the intersection of Ninth Place and Second Drive Southwest around 3:54 a.m. May 17. No one was inside the “extremely damaged” vehicle, which police suspected had been heading eastbound on Ninth Street when it crossed Fourth Street at a high rate of speed, likely causing it to missed a northerly curve and go airborne. The complaint said the car struck a tree about 30-40 feet away from the embankment. Police searched the vehicle to find Mitchell’s insurance card and an empty bottle of Oxycodone prescribed to him. Police combed the area with no results, the complaint states. A short time later, however, officers learned that Mitchell had made his way to his Second Street Southeast address, where they located the passenger of the vehicle. The 35-year-old said the two had been drinking at a friend’s before the accident, the complaint said. Though he refused transport to Austin Medical Center, examinations done later found that he’d suffered a compressed disk and had glass in his eye, according to the complaint. Authorities found Mitchell downstairs; noticing cuts and bruises on his face and head he was taken to AMC. A witness at the house told police that Mitchell called her after the accident, saying, “I can’t jump Skinner’s Hill at 80 mph,” the complaint said. She met him at the house just before police arrived. The complaint said Mitchell was belligerent and uncooperative when interviewed later at AMC. He allegedly smelled of alcohol, and admitted to drinking three beers. He also said he dragged the passenger from

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the car, the complaint stated. Mitchell’s next court date is May 29. His bail is set at $25,000 or $5,000 conditional. The maximum penalty for his crime is three years in prison and/or $10,000 in fines.

i\’m having trouble reconstructing how this went down in my head– maybe the other two yahoos can add some color to that– but still. skinner\’s hill is probably 50 yards long, and something like a 35 degree slope at its steepest? what an idiot. no insurance. empty bottle of drugs. drunk. belligerent. yes, this is my hometown.







2 responses to “local man injured, idiot”

  1. alex Avatar

    Well, let’s start by assuming that they meant 9th Avenue, since it, unlike 9th Street, actually crosses 4th St and turns into the street in question, 9th Place. My nit-pickery aside, it doesn’t sound like there was really much of a plan, and that the car simply went out of control and ended up across the street to the south of the hill, but short of the first road to the right (does that help clear things up Wade?). I’d say he’s very lucky he didn’t end up in the river. As far as “jumping” the hill, if his intention was to get air, but stay on the road, that would be one of the worst plans I could think of, seeing as how the road turns *after* you’d be in mid-air. And if he wanted to off-road, assuming the fence is still lining the top of the hill, that seems like a bad idea too.

    I’d say your summation of the event is right on.

  2. wadE Avatar

    I was going to point out the same thing Alex (how does 9th St and 4th St intersect?)

    If you check out maps.google.com and type in 1000 4th St. SW, 55912, you’ll see the intersection in question. The hill goes downhill as you cross 4th St. going east. For non-natives, Skinner’s Hill is the most popular hill to go sledding for kids of all ages. It’s not a big hill, but in a city that is relatively flat and has no natural lakes, you make due with whatever you can find.

    I personally think heading east on 1st Ave SE and hitting the 3 bumps would offer a much better chance of getting airborn… not that I’ve ever tried that going 65 mph or anything… ahem… ooh, look, is that Elvis?!

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