City to discuss safety measures after Galveston golf cart crash kills 4-year-old and other relatives

Nick Natario Image
Monday, August 8, 2022
Safety measures to be discussed after 4 killed in golf cart crash
A grandfather, his niece, and his two grandkids were killed after a drunk driver crashed into a golf cart in Galveston, police said.

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Authorities identified the family members who were killed by a suspected drunk driver who crashed into a golf cart and truck in Galveston over the weekend.

Felipe Bentancur, 49; Destiny Uvalle, 25; Brailyn Cantu, 14; and Kaisyn Bentancur, 4; were riding in a golf cart when a black Hyundai SUV failed to stop at an intersection, hitting them and a Dodge pickup truck that was heading southbound on Saturday, according to police.

Miguel Espinoza, 45, of Rosenberg, is charged with four counts of intoxication manslaughter and is being held on a $400,000 bond.

Family members dropped off balloons and stuffed animals at the scene on Sunday and told ABC13 that a grandfather was driving the golf cart with his wife, their niece, and three grandkids.

The grandmother and one of the grandkids survived and are in the hospital fighting for their lives.

Family members said they are from the Rosenberg area, and the grandparents often took their grandkids and family members to Galveston to vacation and enjoy the beach.

During a press conference, Galveston Mayor Craig Brown said golf carts have become a prolific way of transportation for those who live or are visiting the island. While he said ordinances were passed about six months ago, the mayor said the city council would discuss additional safety measures to ensure the community stays safe.

Council member Marie Robb was vocal in bringing changes last year. Following this tragedy, she's determined to bring change.

"It was inevitable," Robb said. "It's just very sad to me that it takes a tragedy to get action."

The family killed Saturday wasn't hit on the Seawall, but Robb believes they were there prior to the crash. She said she wants to ban golf carts from the Seawall.

Robb also said she wants to look at banning driving golf carts at night, and holding companies at fault if renters break the rules.

The discussion will take place Thursday morning during the council's workshop. If anything comes from it, an item might be added to a meeting later this month.

The family created a GoFundMe to help cover the cost of funeral arrangements.

For updates on this story, follow Nick Natario on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.