Police not releasing Shaw#039;s toxicology report

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 14, 2003

The preliminary autopsy results in the death of Darren Douglas Shaw, 25, will not be released to the public.

The results were turned over to Austin Police Chief Paul M. Phillip Thursday. Today, the police chief said media representatives will have to petition district court to learn the results of toxicology tests and specifically, blood-alcohol tests.

Shaw died in a traffic accident a week ago after being briefly pursued by an Austin Police Department patrolman. The victim's sport utility vehicle crashed into a tree on a boulevard only two blocks from where he lived.

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Philipp said the preliminary autopsy ruled the victim died of "blunt force trauma" and that it is considered an "accidental death."

He also told reporters, "The family of the deceased has not requested the autopsy information be withheld."

Philipp said the investigation has not revealed any information that the victim was observed drinking before the accident at a rock concert by the group Quiet Riot at Torge's Live bar and grill at the Holiday Inn of Austin Conference Center.

He also said the officer who pursued the victim began his pursuit when he saw the vehicle with a faulty tail light on West Oakland Avenue going south on 11th Street SW. The chase began at 1:42 a.m. Friday, March 7, and ended 60 seconds later, according to the police report.

Philipp said he made his decision to withhold the toxicology test results after consulting Austin city attorneys who studied Minnesota statutes governing data privacy matters and told him that must be done.

The police chief said the Minnesota State Patrol could conclude its official investigation into the accident by "late next week or April."

Lee Bonorden can be contacted at 434-2232 or by e-mail at lee.bonorden@austindailyherald.com