5 bar employees charged after drunk teen allegedly killed young mother in car crash
The bar employees who served alcohol to a teen that killed a young mother are being charged.
ABC 13 reports that on Monday, Erick Hernandez consumed 12 drinks within six hours at the Fontera Events Venue.
When he left the establishment, he hadn't driven a mile before he crossed over three lanes of traffic and crashed head-on into another vehicle.
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Inside, Taylor Phillips sat with her one-year-old son and her grandmother Carmen Rainer. They were near the 1500 block of College Avenue, east of the Gulf Freeway.
The three were returning from Louisiana to Texas. Phillips had just dropped off two of her younger sisters.
Her son, who would normally be behind her, was in the car seat in the middle thanks to the company they had.
Rainer described to FOX 26 what happened when the tragedy occurred:
"She said, 'Ah.' When she said that, the only thing you could see were two bright lights and a silver truck. At that time he was already on us. The impact just hadn't happened yet."
The tragedy was caught by surveillance cameras. Rainer described what happened next:
"I was out for a minute, but the baby crying woke me up. 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."
"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."
She and her grandson went to the hospital and left with minor injuries. Now, the grieving grandmother hopes that the driver who caused her daughter's death is "prosecuted to the fullest."
Hernandez has been charged with intoxication manslaughter. He admitted to drinking and police found a fake ID in his vehicle. He was released from jail following a $30,000 bond.
Yet Rainer, like the authorities, believes that those who served the boy "need to be punished as well." Prosecutors said that none of the servers asked Hernandez for ID.
Three of the following five joined Hernandez in drinking tequila shots. Jaquin Gonzalez, 21, Mildred "Milly" Garcia, 21, and Anna Evelyn Lula, 19, were charged with making alcoholic beverage available to a minor.
Jazely Marie Barrera, 21, was charged with selling alcoholic beverages to a minor. Gustavo Tejada-Garcia, 28, was charged with possession of an unauthorized beverage-retailer.
Sean Teare who works with the Harris Co. District Attorney's Vehicular Crimes Unit spoke about Hernandez's drinking status.
"We believe that he spent well over $100 at the bar drinking alcohol that day. I just know that a 19-year-old individual came out of that establishment highly intoxicated and moments later took a 23-year-old's life."
"That shouldn't happen. Someone in addition to that 19-year-old is going to have to answer for that. If an establishment, if a server sees somebody who is intoxicated, they've got to stop serving. They've got to take steps to ensure that person doesn't leave their establishment and kill people."
The bar was already hit with six violations this year. Among these are selling to minors. Furthermore, the bar can legally distribute beer and wine only. The district attorney's office may push to close the business down.
Meanwhile, mother Rainer is distraught. It is the second daughter she lost after the first, Tyre, was shot to death in 2013. She cried, saying "we haven't even recovered from my first daughter's death."
Rainer said Phillips loved life, humor, doing hair, and most of all, loving her son.
"The greatest thing she's ever done was have that baby. She loved him. She was the best mother ever. She cherished him. She did everything she could for him."
Another heartbreaking story came out of South Carolina earlier this month. A 27-year-old driver was also intoxicated when he went off-road while driving with four kids in Greenville County.
Sadly, all four children succumbed to their injuries from the crash. Jackie Brown was left "incomplete." Arnez Yaron Jamison Sr., 27 is facing three counts of felony DUI that led to the deaths.
Back in September, a horrific car accident took the life of a woman pregnant with twins, her children, and her daughter-in-law. Richard Moanunu was driving at high speed when he hit the vehicle in Sydney, Australia.
Katherine Hoang, the pregnant mother, is survived by her husband Bronco, the only one who lived after the crash. The vehicles were left in shambles and once again, so were the lives of those involved.
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