Who is Daniel Canada? Texas driver who killed woman, her 3 kids had open warrants for arrest but cop let him go
Canada is accused of speeding down FM 2920 with a blood alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit and clocking around 100 miles an hour
HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS: It has been nothing short of a nightmare for Damien House. He attended a vigil for his wife and children on the night of Friday, March 19, just hours after leaving the hospital where his six-year-old niece Laurionne Walker died after being shot in the chest. Earlier on Friday, he was in court following Daniel Canada's hearing.
Canada is accused of speeding down FM 2920 on Sunday, March 14 with a blood alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit. He was clocking around 100 miles an hour when he hit House's wife Porsha Branch's car, ABC 13 reported. Preliminary details from investigators noted how the sedan burst into flames in a seven-car pile-up, instantly killing Porsha, 28, and three of her sons — 7-month-old Drake, 2-year-old Messiah, and 5-year-old King.
"To see the magnitude of what actually happened was just devastating to me," said Porsha's aunt, Donna Russ. "They wouldn't pull her out of the car while we were there."
"[We're] taking it one step at a time, but it's rough," her father, Derick Russ, added. "We just ask that justice be served in the courthouse."
Meanwhile, it emerged that Canada has a long rap sheet. Investigators told ABC 13 that he's been in jail for drugs in the past. In fact, he is currently on probation for a charge of evading authorities in Gregg County. Furthermore, he has five open warrants for his arrest in Liberty County on multiple counts of felon in possession of a firearm, evading in a car, first-degree possession of controlled substance, possession of a criminal instrument, and money laundering.
It also emerged that Canada was pulled over for speeding by a Harris County sheriff's deputy just half an hour before the fatal crash. The deputy confiscated marijuana, did not perform a field sobriety test, and let the suspect drive away. According to the Harris County Sheriff's Office, the deputy was following a policy that states "when less than four ounces of marijuana are found, it warrants just a citation." In a press release, the HCSO said the driver "displayed no outward signs of impairment" and was therefore released from custody.
"On Sunday, March 14 at about 8.08 pm, a Harris County Sheriff's Office deputy was driving his marked vehicle when he observed a driver pass him at a high rate of speed," the release stated. "The deputy conducted a traffic stop, pulling the driver over along the I-45 northbound frontage road at Parramatta Lane. 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 deputy told the driver the suspected marijuana would be tested in a lab and that criminal charges could be filed at a later date, depending on the outcome of that testing. The deputy reported that the driver displayed no outward signs of impairment and was released from custody."
When asked why Canada was not arrested during the traffic stop for the open warrants, the sheriff's office said it's all under review as part of its internal affairs investigation. "The Harris County Sheriff's Department does have some sort of blame to this just because they didn't do their due diligence to do more," a devastated Derick Russ added. "If they would have done a little bit more, just taken a little bit more time, then maybe this could have been prevented."
According to the sheriff's office, the deputy involved reportedly has over two decades of experience and is currently a crime scene investigator, so he does not wear body cameras or carry dash camera equipment in his vehicle. Canada is remanded in custody without bond and is facing up to life in prison after being charged with four counts of intoxication manslaughter.