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Mother, 2 children injured after drunken driving crash

A driver has been charged with intoxication assault after police say he collided with another car while drunk on Sunday, injuring a woman and two children, according to an arrest affidavit.

At 9:22 p.m. Austin police got a call about a car driving westbound on Texas 71 that was speeding and had run a red light at Hamilton Pool Road, the affidavit said.

About a minute later, police got a call about a crash in the same area, near the 18600 block of Texas 71, said the affidavit.

Officers responding to the call found a crash involving a Nissan Maxima, which belonged to the suspect, 26-year-old Ruben Mendez, and a Lexus, which had three passengers, according to the document.

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Police were able to look inside Mendez’s car and found two empty packs of 12-ounce beer, “shattered brown glass consistent with a Lonestar beer around the driver’s side area,” and an unopened 24-ounce can of beer in the passenger seat, said the document.

One of the passengers in the Lexus, an 8-year-old, suffered a serious injury in the accident and was taken to a hospital and was later found to have “bruising to his abdomen and a perforated intestine,” which required him to “undergo surgery to remove part of his intestine,” said the affidavit.

The other two victims, a mother and a 4-year-old, were taken to South Austin Hospital, where police asked her what had happened. She said she was driving eastbound on Texas 71 when she saw Mendez’s car fishtailing and facing southbound in the eastbound lane, read the document. The victim told police that she tried to avoid the crash but was unable to, said the affidavit.

The victim described Mendez to police as having “a white shirt and goatee and blood all over his face,” said the affidavit.

Police made contact with Mendez, who was also taken to South Austin Hospital, and were able to smell alcohol coming from his breath and his speech was slurred, according to the affidavit.

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