SMITHVILLE, Texas – A priest was charged with drunken driving after crashing a pickup truck into a restaurant and injuring 10 people, a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper said.
Five of the victims were taken to hospitals Monday night, none with life-threatening injuries, Trooper David Adkins said.
The Rev. Karel Fink's pickup was traveling relatively slowly but still ended up about 10 feet inside the Mexican restaurant in Smithville, about 40 miles southeast of Austin, Adkins said.
Fink's blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent after the crash, Adkins said. He said the 61-year-old priest told authorities he accidentally pressed the gas instead of the brake.
Fink was released from jail on his own recognizance Tuesday. He did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.
Christian R. Gonzalez, a spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Austin, said Fink returned to Smithville from an alcoholism treatment facility within the past couple of weeks.
"Obviously he needs more treatment to continue his recovery," Bishop Gregory Aymond of the Austin Diocese said in a statement.