A Texas teen is facing intoxication manslaughter charges after allegedly drunkenly crossing three lanes Sunday night and striking a vehicle head-on, killing a young mother.
The Houston Chronicle reported that Taylor Phillips, 23, was killed; while her 1-year-old son and her 48-year-old mother suffered minor injuries. Phillips was pronounced dead at the scene.
Erick Hernandez, the driver of the F-150 truck that struck Phillips’ SUV, reportedly told officers at the scene that he had five drinks.
Documents obtained by KTRK stated that Hernandez had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and poor balance moments after the collision. A search of his car reportedly produced a fake ID card and a bar receipt.
“We believe that he spent well over $100 at the bar drinking alcohol that day,” Sean Teare, with the Harris Country District Attorney’s Vehicular Crimes Unit, alleged.
According to KPRC, prosecutors believe Hernandez consumed more than 12 drinks in the six hours he spent at the Servi-Car El bar in Houston. Teare claimed five bartenders at the establishment served him alcohol without checking his identification.
At one point, bar employees allegedly shared shots of tequila with Hernandez, despite having a license to only sell beer and wine.
Teare said the teen left the bar at 10:49 p.m.—only to strike Phillips’ car at 10:51 p.m.
“You have these total and true innocents, who are doing absolutely nothing wrong—literally just driving on our roads—and people like Erick Hernandez drive the wrong way and wipe out beautiful lives,” he said. “It’s as tragic as a case can get, in my mind.”
KPRC reported that the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and South Houston police officers arrested five bar employees on Friday.
Hernandez reportedly appeared in court Wednesday and is free on $30,000 bond.
[Featured image: Erick Hernandez/Harris County Jail; Taylor Phillips/GoFundMe]