Five bar employees were arrested in connection with an alleged DUI-related deadly accident in Houston.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office investigated the Frontera Events Venue, arresting five employees, ABC13 reported.
A 19-year-old, Erick Hernandez, is accused of driving while drunk, crashing into a vehicle driven by Taylor Phillips, 23, who is a mother of one. Her 1-year-old son was inside her SUV at the time of the crash.
UPDATE: The teen driver in this case will be charged. Police say a woman, her 1-year-old and the child's grandmother were in the vehicle when it was hit by a driver who was likely intoxicated.
Hernandez allegedly crossed three lanes of traffic and hit Phillips head-on, the ABC affiliate report said.
According to KHOU, her grandmother and the child were injured.
He admitted to drinking, said investigators, who found a fake identification card in his vehicle.
Hernandez was charged with intoxication manslaughter.
Jaquin Gonzalez, 21, was charged with making an alcoholic beverage available to a minor; Jazely Marie Barrera, 21, was charged with sale of an alcoholic beverage to a minor; Mildred “Milly” Garcia, 21, was charged with making an alcoholic beverage available to a minor; Anna Evelyn Lula, 19, was charged with making an alcoholic beverage available to a minor; Gustavo Tejada-Garcia, 28, was charged with possession of an unauthorized beverage-retailer, the ABC13 report said.
ABC13 reported that Hernandez allegedly consumed 12 alcoholic beverages in six hours while at the bar. He told officials that he was drinking at the bar with his cousin before the crash.
Prosecutors alleged that no one from the bar asked him for an ID.
Hernandez, if convicted, could face 20 years in prison, KHOU reported.
Harris County Assistant District Attorney Sean Teare said, “They were there for six hours and they never stopped drinking the six hours. So, as you can imagine, a 19-year-old drinking for six hours straight, he’s going to get more demonstrative, more dancing, more grabby of people and patrons there.”
Hernandez is out on $30,000 bond and is required to wear an ankle bracelet, drink alcohol, consume any drugs, or drive.
US Traffic Deaths Down Overall in 2018
U.S. traffic deaths fell 3.1 percent in the first six months of 2018, according to preliminary figures released in October, Reuters reported. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that 2017 traffic deaths fell by 1.8 percent to 37,133 after traffic deaths rose sharply in the previous two years, according to final figures.
The U.S. traffic fatality rate fell to 1.08 deaths per 100 million miles traveled for the first half of 2018. The fatality rate in 2017 was 1.16 million deaths per 100 million miles traveled—the second highest rate since 2008.
“This is good news and bad news,” said Deborah Hersman, CEO of the National Safety Council, CNBC reported. “The total number of fatalities is not getting worse, but the situation is not getting better.”
Hersman cited distracted driving and higher speed limits for the number.
“There are a number of states that have raised speed limits, some now have stretches at 80 or 85 miles per hour,” she said in the CNBC report. In Texas, for example, she estimated that traffic fatalities jumped 7 percent from 2015 to 2017, in part due to higher speed limits in the state. “We know it’s happening even though distracted driving data is hard to come by,” she said of drivers using smartphones while behind the wheel. “Police reports on accidents often don’t report if the driver was distracted and in many accidents, people don’t self-report themselves.”