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Austin Man Won't Face Intoxication Manslaughter Charge

Updated: Thursday, July 31 2014, 02:51 PM CDT

New details in the death of Kelly Noel (pictured right). Austin police now say the popular blogger played a role in the crash that killed him.

"The pedestrian stepped in front of the vehicle and the driver didn't have an opportunity to stop," said Detective Mike Jennings.

It happened as Wade Atwood (pictured left) drove on the I-35 frontage road near Seventh Street. Atwood struck and killed Noel as he crossed the road.

According to the arrest affidavit Atwood had a blood alcohol level of 0.102 but detectives say even a sober driver could not have avoided hitting Noel -- who -- according to the medical examiner was also drunk.

"It has to be proven by reason of that driver's intoxication is why that crash happened," added Jennings.

And since that can't be proven, a Travis County grand jury opted to charge Atwood with driving while intoxicated -- a class B misdemeanor. That's disappointing news to those who knew Noel.

"I hate to see the victim blamed because he did lose his life he wasn't able to be in court to defend what happened to him," said Sara Levine.

"I think emotionally for me personally I feel confused and disappointed," said Neil Diaz.

If convicted of DWI, Atwood faces up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.

(Photos from the Austin Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety.)

By Alex Boyer

Austin Man Won't Face Intoxication Manslaughter Charge


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