Wade Atwood, a 40-year-old Austin man accused of hitting and killing Kelly Noel, aka ATXhipsters, was charged Monday with driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor.
Atwood allegedly struck Noel on April 26 as he crossed the I-35 frontage road near East 11th Street. Noel, a music and culture maven who ran the enigmatic Twitter handle @atxhipsters, died at the scene. According to police records, a breath test administered to Atwood after the crash registered .102. The legal limit for driving in the state of Texas is .08.
At a time when the public is still waiting for answers from SXSW and the City of Austin in the deaths of four festival attendees in March, and the Austin Police Department's head shake-inducing decision to implement new overnight parking restrictions for prime partying neighborhoods, news of Atwood's misdemeanor charge spread quickly Monday night. And many locals are taking to social media to voice their shock.
KXAN is reporting that Noel's blood alcohol content at the time of his death was .27. It is unclear whether that was a factor in the grand jury's decision to indict Atwood on a lesser charge.