Woman Allegedly Had BAC of .21 Prior to Fatal Texas Collision

Glass of dark liquor on a table next to a car key.

Prosecutors say that a 20-year-old woman accused of causing a drunk driving crash that killed a mother and her newborn baby had a blood alcohol content of .21, nearly three times the legal limit.

Alleged Drunk Driver Does Not Remember Deadly Crash

According to ABC 7, the crash occurred early Wednesday morning along the Gulf Freeway feeder road in Houston. Shayla Joseph, 36, and her 3-month-old daughter, Braylan Jabari Joseph, were both pronounced dead at the scene.

Prosecutors have now revealed that the driver of the other vehicle, Veronica Rivas, 20, had a blood alcohol content of .21 following the collision. The number was recorded by a hospital attendant and reported to officers.

Drunk driving was suspected early on as investigators noted a strong odor of alcohol on Rivas’ breath following the accident as well as red glassy eyes and slurred speech. A friend of Rivas’ family told reporters that Rivas was so drunk that she does not even remember hitting the car.

Alleged Drunk Driver Appears Before Judge

Rivas faced a judge in court Friday morning and appeared to break down in tears when prosecutors told her that a 3-month-old baby was in the back of the car she hit.

Rivas has charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter and was released from jail on a $30,000 bond.

During her court appearance on Friday, the judge informed Rivas that she is not allowed to leave her home without the court’s permission and must wear a GPS monitor which will track everywhere she goes. She also must wear a device that will monitor if she drinks any alcohol as a condition of her bond.

Texas Auto Accident Statistics

The following information was provided by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT):

  • 3,773 people were killed in Texas traffic accidents in 2016, marking a 5.45% increase from the 3,578 deaths reported in 2015.
  • 638 of the deaths reported in 2016 were attributed to head-on collision.
  • Alcohol was determined to be a factor in 987 traffic deaths, accounting for roughly 26% of all Texas traffic fatalities.
  • An additional 264,076 people were injured in auto accidents in Texas in 2016.
  • Based on reportable data for 2016, TxDOT estimates:
    • One person was killed in a traffic accident every 2 hours and 20 minutes.
    • One person was injured every 1 minute and 59 seconds.
    • A reportable crash occurred every 57 seconds.

Contact an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car crash, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our experienced Corpus Christi car accident attorneys have experience handling a multitude of injury accidents, no matter how severe the crash or injury. You may be entitled to compensation for your damages if another driver acted negligently. Our firm has the experienced lawyers and financial resources that you need to achieve the real results you deserve.

Our firm has offices in Corpus Christi, San AntonioAustin, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide. Call us today for a free case review — attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends. If you cannot make it to our office, we can visit you at your home, in the hospital, or at work.

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