Teen who was illegally served 12 drinks at bar before he got behind the wheel kills Texas mom in car crash
The teen was served 12 drinks, including 3 tequila shots, in under six hours. The bar reportedly doesn't have a license to sell anything apart from beer and wine.
A teenage boy from Texas who took to the wheels after downing 12 drinks at a bar ended up crashing his car and killing a young mother. According to a report by local news outlet the Houston Chronicle, Erick Hernandez, 19, was intoxicated when he got behind the wheel on Sunday night and allegedly crashed into the SUV of Taylor Phillips, 23, who was killed on the spot. Taylor's one-year-old son and mother were injured in the crash. Hernandez is reported to have crossed three lanes of traffic before the collision.
Hernandez has been charged with intoxication manslaughter. Five employees at the bar Servi-Car el 3 on Houston Boulevard have been charged with misdemeanors associated with serving Hernandez. They were identified as Mildred Garcia, 21, Anna Evelyn Lule, 19, Jaquin Guadalupe Gonzalez, 19, and Jazely Marie Barrera, 21, and manager Gustavo Tejada-Garcia, 28, who was also hit with misdemeanor possession of an unauthorized beverage charge, namely tequila.
Court documents obtained by the Chronicle show that the bar did not have a liquor license and was only allowed to serve beer and wine.
On Wednesday, prosecutors allegedly said a video from inside a bar showed Hernandez consuming 12 drinks, including three tequila shots, (which the bar is not legally allowed to sell in the first place) over the course of six hours before getting into his truck and driving off. He was allegedly never asked for his ID despite being underage.
Phillips died on impact, prosecutors said in court. Her 1-year-old son, Mason, and 48-year-old mother, Carmen Rainer, were also in the car and were injured in the crash. Rainer revealed to ABC13 on the night of the crash, the three of them were driving home after a weekend of visiting family in New Orleans and were just five minutes from home.
Rainer said that he lost consciousness briefly right after the crash, before briefly coming to her senses and realizing the horror of what had just happened.
“I was out for a minute, but the baby crying woke me up,” Rainer told the station. “I saw smoke and tried to get out of my seatbelt and open the door. I tried to get my grandson out. He was stuck under her and I couldn’t get him out. People weren’t stopping to help. I had to go into the street to wave my arms because they wouldn’t stop. It took three men to get Mason from under her. His leg was stuck under her. I had to move her, and that’s when I realized she was gone.”
“This family should be celebrating the holiday, but is instead planning a funeral,” said Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg in a statement. “This tragedy should never have happened."
“Literally one minute after he left (the bar), he took the life of Ms. Phillips,” said Sean Teare, Chief of the Vehicular Crimes Division in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. “Right now there are Christmas presents under a tree for a mother who will never open them, a child who will never know his mother because of the irresponsible actions of all six individuals charged in this tragedy.”
Hernandez was charged with second-degree felony intoxication manslaughter in Phillips’ death. He was released on a $30,000 bond Tuesday night.
The Houston Chronicle also notes that on Wednesday, a judge ordered that Hernandez cannot drive as a condition of his bond while the charge is pending. He was also issued a 9 pm to 5 am. curfew and will be required to wear an "alcohol-detecting ankle monitor." If convicted, Hernandez is facing up to 20 years in prison. Meanwhile, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has put the bar under investigation as they evaluate the circumstances leading up to the crash.
A GoFundMe page has been started to help support baby Mason. As of writing this piece, it has successfully raised the goal amount of $5,000.