Police: Man charged in deadly wreck violated doctor's orders not to drive

July 11, 2011 4:41:20 PM PDT
A family is heartbroken over the loss of their mother killed in a head-on collision, and police say the man responsible had doctor's orders not to be behind the wheel. The suspect is now facing charges. He's accused of driving, despite the fact that he had a medical condition that could make it dangerous. That's exactly what investigators say happened Saturday morning on Westheimer near Fondren. The driver has been charged with criminally negligent homicide. Investigators say he had epilepsy and never should have been behind the wheel of an automobile.

Family members say Yolanda Lopez Martinez, 54, was on her way home from a doctor's appointment Saturday morning, eastbound on Westheimer when her vehicle was struck head-on by a vehicle coming the other way.

Her son, Phillip Martinez, said, "We never got to say goodbye, you know. None of us got to say goodbye, none of us got to talk to her."

In a police impound lot, the severity of the damage to her maroon minivan is obvious. The vehicle which hit hers was also heavily damaged. Investigators say it was driven by Miguel Zepeta-Rodriguez.

In probable cause court early Monday morning, prosecutors described how Zepeta-Rodriguez looked to eyewitnesses shortly after the wreck.

The prosecutor told the court, "The witness observed the defendant to be shaking vigorously as if he was having a seizure."

Prosecutors say he told police that he didn't remember what happened, that he'd had a seizure and that his doctor had previously told him he should never be driving.

Yolanda's son Nathan Martinez said, "To us it's the same as a drunken driver driving when you know he is drunk and killing a family, killing a mother, killing kids, killing anybody. It's the same. It's murder."

Martinez is remembered by her family as a loving, caring person. She is survived by her two adult sons, 10 grandchildren and extended family.

Zepeta-Rodriguez is being held without bond. Prosecutors say he is in this country illegally.

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