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

Courtney Fischer Image
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
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Veronica Rivas, 20, is accused of driving drunk and killing a mother and her newborn baby.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A 20-year-old woman who was suspected of driving drunk in a crash that killed a mom and her newborn baby is due in court Thursday.

Veronica Rivas, was booked on two counts of intoxication manslaughter. Her bond was listed at $30,000.

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

Authorities say a white Lincoln SUV slammed into the back of a dark purple Toyota with the woman and child inside.

The woman's husband told ABC13 the victims are his wife, 36-year-old Shayla Joseph, and their 3-month-old baby Braylan Jabari Joseph.

He thinks Shayla was likely on her way to pick up breakfast for them. He said since he works nights, she would get breakfast each day before he got home from work. Shayla was currently on maternity leave from UTMB.

The hospital issued a statement: "We are stunned and deeply saddened by this tragedy. Shayla Joseph was an integral part of the UTMB community and our hearts and prayers go out to her family."

At least one witness who was parked in a nearby lot when the accident happened ran over to help.

Christine Moyer says she saw the woman unconscious and pried open the driver's side door.

"I felt for a pulse, I couldn't find one. We found a very weak one and then it just faded," Moyer said.

Police say the baby boy was in a car seat. Both victims died at the scene.

The Lincoln driver, Rivas, and a 17-year-old girl in the front passenger seat were taken to the hospital.

No word on how fast the SUV was going or where the driver was coming from.

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