Mother charged with intoxication manslaughter in daughter’s death

A woman involved in a wreck in Rio Grande City which killed her 8-year-old daughter earlier this month was charged with intoxication manslaughter Tuesday morning.

Elia De La Cruz, 35, was magistrated Tuesday in connection with the wreck that occurred in the early morning hours of Feb. 8, according to a news release issued by the city.

Rio Grande City Municipal Judge Basilio “Bacho” Villarreal set a $50,000 bond, the maximum for a second degree felony.

De La Cruz was identified as the driver of an SUV that had rear-ended a garbage truck.

Officers found two people, De La Cruz and her daughter, 8-year-old Leah Marie Gonzalez, pinned inside the SUV, according to the release.

Because of the extent of the damage, paramedics had to pull them out through the center of the windshield.

Both were taken to Starr County Memorial Hospital, where Gonzalez was pronounced dead.

“Based on the damage to the vehicle, investigators believe De La Cruz was traveling at a high rate of speed when she rear ended the garbage truck,” the release stated. “Officers at the scene also detected a strong smell of alcohol coming from the SUV. Upon further inspection, investigators located two cans of beer inside in that SUV.”