Man in court for 1st time after crash that killed mom, 3 kids

SPRING, Texas (KTRK) -- A man accused of intoxication manslaughter in connection with a northwest Harris County crash that killed a mother and her three children appeared in court Wednesday.

Daniel Canada, 35, was driving on FM 2920 near Gosling in Spring Sunday night when he slammed into the back of a car driven by Porsha Branch, according to investigators. Branch and her 7-month-old died in the crash. Branch's 2-year-old and 5-year-old later died at a hospital.

Daniel Canada, 35, appeared in 337th District Court Wednesday morning on four counts of intoxication manslaughter and a count of intoxication manslaughter.



Canada was taken to the hospital with "bumps and bruises."

The impact of the crash caused Branch's car to be pushed into the vehicle in front of her, ultimately causing a seven-vehicle pile-up. Her car went up in flames.

RELATED: 'It still feels like it's unreal:' Father remembers wife, 3 kids killed in Spring crash

Investigators determined the cause of the accident, and the district attorney's office has accepted four counts of intoxication manslaughter and one count of intoxication assault against Canada.

Canada appeared in 337th District Court Wednesday morning where he was assigned a court-appointed attorney. Another hearing to determine is bond will be set has been scheduled for Friday, March 19.

Canada remains in jail.

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A mother, her 7-month-old baby, and 5-year-old were tragically killed, and her 2-year-old is currently on life support after a chain reaction crash involving seven cars.



"This is a tragedy. This is a situation of, again, a possible impaired driver who basically snuffs a family out of existence," Herman said earlier this week. "We at Precinct 4 will do everything we can investigatively to prosecute this individual and hold him accountable."

WATCH: Constable Mark Herman addresses fatal crash at a press conference
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WATCH: "This is a tragedy. This is a situation of, again, a possible impaired driver who basically snuffs a family out of existence," Constable Mark Herman said at a press conference Monday.



Herman added that Canada had a blood alcohol level of 0.15% at the time of the crash, which is nearly twice the legal limit in Texas.

"Driving impaired is 100% preventable. Don't do it," he warned. "It's a choice."

A few others involved in the crash also sustained minor injuries, officials said.

Later Monday, the Harris County Sheriff's Office said a deputy actually stopped Canada's vehicle for speeding just after 8 p.m. that evening.

"The deputy had the driver exit the vehicle and briefly detained him. The driver told the deputy he had a small amount of marijuana in the vehicle, which the deputy took into evidence," the sheriff's office stated.

Despite the stop, the sheriff's office said Canada displayed no "outward signs of impairment" and was released from custody.

HCSO went on to say the stop is being investigated internally to determine whether policies were followed.

A candlelight vigil was being planned for this weekend in memory of Branch and her children. Details were still being finalized as of Wednesday.
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