Originally Posted by King7Two
rest of the story please.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Karen Rosenberg, a 51-year-old Delta Air Lines flight attendant and mother of two teenage boys, was doing what she loved to do: spending a Sunday afternoon shopping.
Dawana Lord, a 29-year-old landscape design student at Austin Community College, had been out with her fiancé Saturday night and was returning from watching a band.
Within a 13-hour span, the two women became Austin's 49th and 50th traffic fatalities after they were killed in accidents investigators say were caused by drunken drivers.
"She couldn't have done anything," said Debbie Ament, Rosenberg's sister. "She was just there."
Police said alcohol typically is involved in about half of fatal accidents each year.
Other victims this year include:
•Wyatt Hortness, a 1-month-old whose mother had been drinking at another son's baseball practice and was taking pain medicine, according to Austin police. The mother, Susan Marie Roten, was driving 84 mph in a 55-mph zone when her car struck a Ford Explorer and rolled several times, authorities said. She was charged with intoxication manslaughter and two counts of aggravated assault.
•Arjun Khanna, who was riding his bicycle on Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360) when he was struck and killed by a man who police said was using drugs. Jeremy Roy Wigley, 27, of Belton was charged with intoxication manslaughter.
•Erica Vasquez, 16, and Elias Sanchez, 5, who were killed in May when their car was struck by a pickup driven by Daniel Talamantes. Talamantes was charged with two counts of murder.
Investigators say Lord was a passenger in a white Toyota pickup that was struck by a green Lexus driving on the wrong side of West Ben White Boulevard just east of Manchaca Road at 2:30 a.m.
The driver of the Lexus, 25-year-old Aaron Charles Daniel, was charged with intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault, police said. His bail was set at $50,000 for the first charge and $25,000 for the second charge.
According to a police affidavit, Daniel was disorderly, had bloodshot and glassy eyes, and was wobbling and swaying when he walked. He also told investigators that he had had four 32-ounce rum and Cokes. He "did not know where he was or what happened," the affidavit stated.
Lord's fiancé, Jason Strickland, was taken to Brackenridge Hospital and was being treated Monday for a broken right ankle and severe bruises to his lungs. Her brother, Levi Lord, 26, of Beaumont said, "We're a close-knit family, so we're all in shock at the moment."
Rosenberg, identified by police as Karen Butschek (her name from a previous marriage), died after a gray Mitsubishi sedan that was traveling north in the 2900 block of Loop 360 left the road and struck Rosenberg's Buick Regal and another car as they were waiting to turn onto the highway from Barton Creek Square.
The driver of a Nissan that also was struck was treated at the scene.
Police arrested the Mitsubishi's driver, Matthew Troell, 29, on an outstanding drunken driving charge, and investigators said they plan to charge him with intoxication manslaughter in Rosenberg's death.
Six months ago, Rosenberg had stood outside her home in Spicewood with dozens of friends and family members to marry a college friend with whom she had become reacquainted.
For 26 years, she had worked as a flight attendant, frequently taking her sons, now ages 18 and 15, on trips with her to show them the world. Most recently, the three went to see an Atlanta Braves baseball game.
Cindy Tanner, a fellow Delta flight attendant from Austin who worked flights with Rosenberg, said her friend "could brighten anybody's day. When we flew together, we just laughed through our trip.
"Heaven is a happier place with Karen there," Tanner said.
By the numbers
25Alcohol-related traffic fatalities in Austin so far this year — half of the city's 50 traffic fatalities. In 2005, 31 of 61 fatalities involved alcohol.
3,812 The number charged in 2006 with driving while intoxicated, compared with 5,724 for all of last year, according to police.