Man sentenced for 2019 crash that injured Lyft driver and killed passenger in Clear Lake

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Thursday, July 8, 2021
Alleged drunk driver charged in deadly Lyft crash in Clear Lake
The victim was texting with his wife just moments before he was killed. He was less than 5 miles from home.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A man has pleaded guilty to a crash that injured a Lyft driver and killed a passenger in 2019.

On July 2, 2021, Erik Julian De Leon pleaded guilty to two charges of intoxicated manslaughter with a vehicle for the death of Lyft passenger Billy Satterfield, who died less than five miles away from home.

In 2019, Satterfield was on his way home from the airport in the backseat of a Lyft when two pickup trucks and a car collided. The incident happened during the early morning of March 1 in the Clear Lake area.

SEE ALSO: Lyft passenger on the way home from airport killed in drunk driving crash in Clear Lake

Authorities say De Leon was driving a gray Dodge truck heading northbound on Galveston Road when he clipped the back end of a smaller, silver Mazda pickup, and kept going through the intersection. The Dodge then slammed into the Lyft car.

The crash was so severe, it also put the Lyft driver, 29-year-old Ezatullah Safi, in a coma.

Safi, an Afghan refugee, has a wife and two kids. Friends of the family said they came to the U.S. for a better life. Since the incident, Safi recovered but the crash left him with traumatic brain injuries.

At the time, sources said De Leon was pounding tequila shots at a bar just before the crash.

According to court documents, De Leon was sentenced to 10 years for second-degree intoxicated manslaughter and two years for third-degree intoxicated manslaughter. Both sentences will run concurrently.