Suspected drunk driver in deadly Clear Lake crash reportedly had BAC of .21

Friday, March 02, 2018 12:48PM
Woman accused in deadly crash faces restrictions


HOUSTON, Texas - A 20-year-old woman accused of driving drunk and causing a crash that killed a mom and infant faced a judge in court Friday morning.

Prosecutors said that Veronica Rivas had a blood alcohol content of .21, nearly three times the legal limit.

That number is what a hospital attendant reportedly told officers after a blood test was taken.

The crash happened early Wednesday morning on the Gulf Freeway feeder road southbound near El Dorado Boulevard in Clear Lake.

Shayla Joseph, 36, and her 3-month-old baby, Braylan Jabari Joseph, both died at the scene.

A judge told Rivas Friday that she is not allowed to leave her home unless she is going to court or gets permission from the court first.

She must also wear two devices: a GPS monitor to track everywhere she goes and a device that will monitor if she drinks any alcohol.

If she violates her bond conditions, she will be taken back to jail.

Rivas faced a judge after being released from jail on a $30,000 bond. She was booked on two counts of intoxication manslaughter.

She appeared to break down in tears in court when prosecutors told her a 3-month-old child was in the back seat.

"This is just an unspeakable tragedy. It really is. And in one of the worst parts about is that it's totally preventable. Any number of ways, this could have stopped before it ended in this," Prosecutor Sam Adamo said.

It was also revealed that after the accident she allegedly had a distinct, strong odor of alcohol on her breath, red glassy eyes and slurred speech.

Lori Bohannon, a friend of the suspect's family described her as "such a sweet, young girl. What made her choose this, what, I don't know."

Bohannon said Rivas' mother is inconsolable, overwhelmed by the weight of what happened.

"They were so drunk, she doesn't even remember hitting the car," Bohannon told Eyewitness News.

Driver accused of driving drunk and killing mom and baby in Clear Lake due in court

Court

Witnesses to the crash told police they heard Rivas mention she was coming from a bar. Court records don't say where.

"Just a young man starting out with a wife and baby, I just can't," Bohannon said. "It just makes me so sad, you know? These parents have got to tighten up. You have to tighten up. You have to know where these kids are at all times."

Court appearance scheduled for alleged drunk driver
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