Deceased: Robert Copeland, White male, (D.O.B. 11-7-57)
Arrested: Rafael Padilla, Hispanic male (28 years of age)
The preliminary investigation shows that a black 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee was traveling southbound in the right lane of the N. IH 35 southbound service road just south of Wonsley Dr. and struck a man in a wheelchair. The victim was in the right lane of travel on the service road. It is unknown why he was in the roadway. The victim was pronounced deceased at the scene. The driver of the Jeep fled the scene and was arrested at a later time based on a CrimeStoppers Tip.
The case is still being investigated. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the APD Vehicular Homicide Unit Detectives at (512) 974-3761. You can also submit tips by downloading APD’s mobile app, Austin PD, for free on iPhone and Android. This is Austin’s twenty-second fatal traffic crash of 2018, resulting in twenty-three fatalities this year. At this time in 2017, there were twenty-six fatal traffic crashes and twenty-seven traffic fatalities.
These statements are based on the initial assessment of the fatal crash and investigation is still pending. Fatality information may change.
Booking photo of Rafael Padilla:
Communications and Public Information Office
301 W. 2nd Street, Austin, TX 78701