Man charged with intoxication assault after North Austin crash

Austin police have arrested a man who they said was intoxicated when he crashed into a car on North Lamar Boulevard on Thursday night, sending another man to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, according to an arrest affidavit.

Tremaine Purnell, 35, faces charges of intoxication assault and aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, jail records show.

Witnesses told police Purnell was speeding south and weaving in and out of traffic in a 2012 Ford Focus in the 12000 block of North Lamar Boulevard around 8:49 p.m., according to the affidavit.

A vehicle was stopped at the intersection of North Lamar and Walnut Creek Park boulevards when the driver saw Purnell approaching at a speed that would not allow Purnell’s car to stop before hitting his vehicle, the affidavit said. The driver pulled onto the grassy shoulder to avoid a wreck, the document said, and managed to get out of the way before impact.

After missing the first vehicle, Purnell slammed into a second car that was waiting to enter North Lamar Boulevard at the stop sign on Walnut Creek Park Boulevard, the affidavit said.

Purnell hit the driver’s side of that vehicle, a Honda SUV, the affidavit said. The impact moved the Honda completely off the road and into a utility pole, cracking the base of the pole and causing metal brackets to come off, the document said.

The driver of the SUV was taken to Dell Seton Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, the affidavit said. Purnell was also taken to Dell Seton with potentially serious injuries, the document said.

Police located an open and empty beer bottle in Purnell’s car, the affidavit said.

Purnell is being held in Travis County Jail on a combined bail of $150,000.

Intoxication assault is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

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