A 22-year-old McAllen man was working on his car on the side of a Mission road when another vehicle struck and killed him, with the driver fleeing the scene, police said.
According to a criminal complaint filed against Mauro Esparza III, at about 4 a.m. Saturday morning, a Mission police officer found the body of Jesus Zamudio “in the grass” near the shoulder of the road in the 900 block of West Interstate 2 in Mission.
Esparza, who drove off without stopping to provide any assistance to Zamudio, said earlier in the evening he had been drinking in downtown McAllen with his cousin Ruby Esparza.
The officer noted Zamudio’s blue KIA Sportage was parked on the “improved shoulder” with damage visible on the vehicle’s left driver-side door and left front fender.
“Debris was found at the scene, that included (a passenger door mirror) which contained a part number,” the record stated.
The part number was tracked, and confirmed to be that of a Ford Mustang model year 2015 to 2019.
Nearly 48 hours later, at about 1 a.m. July 29, Esparza and his cousin, Ruby Esparza, turned themselves in to authorities at the Mission Police Department to report that they were involved in a crash that resulted in damage to a vehicle and Zamudio’s death.
Esparza provided a recorded statement, in which he admitted that after a night of drinking in downtown McAllen, he and his cousin, who was his passenger in the vehicle, were traveling westbound on IH-2 when he crashed with the KIA Sportage, the complaint read.
“(Mauro Esparza) stated he knew he hit a car but was unaware he hit a pedestrian,” the record stated.
Officers noted in the report that Esparza’s Mustang showed damage to the windshield and front-right fender area, which contained blood, strands of hair and other human tissue.
Esparza admitted that after the crash, he didn’t report the incident to police and fled to Mexico.
Ruby Esparza also admitted she was inside the vehicle when the crash took place.
“(Ruby) stated that she fell asleep in the car but was woken by the collision with the KIA Sportage,” the re-cord stated. “She then asked what happened. Mauro replied by saying he had just hit a vehicle.”
On July 29, Esparza said he decided to turn himself in to police.
The two were arraigned later that day at the Mission Municipal Court.
Esparza was charged with accident involving death, a second-degree felony, and Ruby Esparza was charged with failing to report a felony, a Class A misdemeanor, jail records show.
A 22-year-old Mission resident, Esparza had his bond set at $250,000 and remains in custody at the Hidalgo County jail. Ruby Esparza, who was given a $5,000 bond, was released from custody, jail officials said.
If convicted of the second-degree felony, Esparza could face between two and 20 years in state jail and a $10,000 fine. If convicted of the Class A misdemeanor, Ruby Esparza faces up to a year in jail, and up to $4,000 fine.