The Burnet County Sheriff’s Office charged Cottonwood Shores Mayor Donald Orr with two counts of deadly conduct. Police say Orr endangered the lives of two first responders at the scene of an accident on Oct. 4. Burnet County Jail photo
Cottonwood Shores Mayor Donald Orr was arrested Saturday, Dec. 24, on two counts of deadly conduct for an Oct. 4 incident involving two first responders. The 82-year-old turned himself in to the Burnet County Jail on Christmas Eve and was released later that day after posting two $4,000 bonds.
According to two arrest warrant affidavits completed by Burnet County Sheriff’s Deputy William Chandler and signed by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Lisa Whitehead, Orr faces two Class A misdemeanor charges for endangering the lives of two first responders while following an ambulance transporting his wife, Susan, to a hospital on Oct. 4.
In the affidavits, Chandler outlines the congested nature of the roads following a “significant” accident. At the scene, Michael Hawkins of Marble Falls Fire and Rescue and Thomas Jacobs of the Marble Falls Area Volunteer Fire Department were tasked with diverting traffic onto CR 413.
During that time, an ambulance running lights and sirens and transporting a patient requested to continue traveling down Texas 71. Hawkins allowed the emergency vehicle to pass. The affidavits state that Orr was following the ambulance in a white Dodge pickup truck.
According to the affidavits, Jacobs instructed Hawkins to not allow Orr to proceed. Hawkins attempted to stop the truck by stepping in its path; however, Orr continued down the road and accelerated toward Hawkins and Jacobs.
To avoid being hit by Orr, Hawkins stepped toward the driver’s side of the vehicle and then spoke to the mayor, according to one of the two affidavits. A different account of the incident claimed Orr “struck” Hawkins and Jacobs before the two first responders moved out of the truck’s path.
Both affidavits claim that Orr yelled out of his truck window that his wife was in the ambulance before he departed.
Orr has served as mayor of Cottonwood Shores since 2013. His current term runs through May 2023.
If convicted on both charges, he could face up to two years in jail along with fines ranging from $4,000 to $10,000, depending on the determined severity of the offense.
When asked about the incident by DailyTrib.com, Orr said “no comment.”