Drunk driver smashes into car, killing mom and her newborn baby: Police

A Houston, Texas, woman is accused of being drunk when she struck and killed a mother and her 3-month-old son early Wednesday.

KTRK reported that Veronica Rivas, 20, is accused of crashing into the back of a purple Toyota with a mother and child inside. The victims, Shayla Joseph, 36, and baby Braylan Jabari Joseph, were pronounced dead at the scene. Police noted that the infant was in a car seat

Christine Moyer, who reportedly witnessed the 4:00 a.m. crash, told the station that she attempted to pry Joseph from the vehicle. She recalled the mother having a faint pulse that quickly faded away.

“And she was screaming that she had just come from the bar,” Moyer said, adding the Rivas appeared unaware that she had struck the Toyota. “I heard her say that. She said they had just come from the bar, that they were out of gas.”

Veronica Rivas
Veronica Rivas [Image: Houston Police Department]
Rivas and a 17-year-old passenger were taken to the hospital with broken bones. Investigators noted that Rivas showed signs of intoxication and was transported to the hospital following her release from the hospital, according to KHOU.

The woman’s husband told KTRK that Joseph was likely on her way to pick up breakfast for them. He explained that he worked nights and his wife would get him breakfast every day before he would get of off work.

The slain mother was on maternity leave from the University of Texas Medical Branch at the time of her death.

It’s not immediately known how fast Rivas was going or where she was heading from. Houston Police Lieutenant Larry Crowson told The Houston Chronicle that speed might’ve played a factor in Wednesday’s crash.

Prosecutors reportedly filed intoxication manslaughter charges late Wednesday. Rivas is being held on $30,000 bond.

[Featured Image: Shayla Joseph, Braylan Jabari Joseph/KTRK video screengrab]