Texas news in brief

The Associated Press

Texas trooper runs over, kills man lying on Austin street

AUSTIN  — A Texas Department of Public Safety trooper struck and killed a man who was lying in a street near the state Capitol early Thursday, authorities said. 

The trooper was on patrol at the Capitol when he struck the man with his vehicle shortly before 4 a.m. Thursday, authorities said.

DPS spokesman Victor Taylor said the man, who was 50 years old, was lying in the street "for unknown reasons." He said troopers tried to treat the man for his injuries but he was pronounced dead at the scene. 

An investigation is ongoing.

New Texas COVID-19 cases count below average

AUSTIN — A below-average number of new COVID-19 cases was reported Wednesday, while deaths matched the Texas average, according to state health officials.

Even with the addition of 160 previously unreported cases added to the 3,262 new cases reported Wednesday, the total fell well short of the seven-day rolling average of 3,699 computed by Johns Hopkins University researchers. The 68 new COVID-19 deaths in Texas matched the seven-day rolling average calculated by Johns Hopkins.

The state estimated almost 64,552 active COVID-19 cases Wednesday, with 2,960 COVID-19 sufferers hospitalized in Texas Tuesday, the most recent total available.

One Texan in three has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, while one in five is fully vaccinated, according to the U.S, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Baylor refuses title Jeep after dealer's insensitive remark

WACO — Baylor and coach Scott Drew have refused to accept a vehicle wrapped with the school's national championship logo after an insensitive remark made by the dealership's general manager when discussing it during a live TV interview.

The customized Jeep Wrangler was driven in the team's championship parade through downtown Waco on Tuesday night, and was then going to be given to the school for Drew to use for the next year.

When talking about the vehicle with KWTX-TV before the parade started, Ted Teague, GM of the Allen Samuels dealership in Waco, said Drew could enjoy the Jeep and "use it to recruit, pull some people out of the hood." Based on his own changed facial expression as the reporter started to ask another question, Teague knew immediately that the remark was inappropriate. He apologized on Wednesday.

Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades and Drew said in a joint statement Wednesday that they had spoken to Teague about what he said.

"His remarks do not align with our institutional values or the culture of our athletic programs. We can confirm we are not accepting the Jeep driven in the parade on Tuesday. As a department, we are committed to recruiting a diverse group of student-athletes, coaches, and staff, all of whom are valued members of our community," the statement read.

Teague issued a statement of apology on Wednesday, asking for forgiveness and the opportunity to seek redemption. 

Texas truck driver indicted in deaths of 8 migrants in crash

DEL RIO — A Texas man who drove a pickup truck involved in a deadly head-on crash, killing eight migrants he was carrying, was indicted Wednesday on federal charges.

A federal grand jury in Del Rio, a Texas border city near where the March 15 crash occurred, indicted Sebastian Tovar, 24, of Austin, on a charge of transporting migrants illegally resulting in death. He also faces single counts of transporting migrants illegally and conspiracy to transport migrants illegally, both resulting in serious injury. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in federal prison.

According to court documents, Tovar was driving a pickup truck on Farm-to-Market Road 2523 near Del Rio when a state trooper tried to stop him. When Tovar failed to stop, a 50-mile chase ensued at speeds exceeding 100 mph. Traveling north on U.S. 277, the truck veered into an oncoming lane and collided with another pickup truck head-on.