Authorities say a 28-year-old Peñitas man was driving in excess of 80 mph on Aug. 16 when he ran a red light and crashed into a 40-year-old woman’s vehicle, killing her.
The violent collision also killed his passenger, who was his 35-year-old brother.
Mission police charged Mario Alberto Juarez with two counts of intoxication manslaughter for the crash that killed Cynthia Lee Quiroz and Julio Cesar Juarez. He remains jailed on $1 million in bonds.
When police responded to the crash, an officer noted in the probable cause affidavit for Juarez’s arrest that a beer in the red Toyota Corolla he was driving was still cold to the touch.
The collision happened at around 6:48 p.m. Aug. 16 in the area of North Shary Road and East 2 Mile Road.
The responding officer said the Toyota had extensive front end damage and was facing northbound on the outside lane of travel.
Juarez’s brother, Julio, was unresponsive in the front passenger seat with difficulty breathing while Quiroz was on the ground next to the white Chevrolet Cruze she was driving with several people trying to provide her assistance, according to the affidavit.
When Mission police talked to Juarez, they say he admitted to being the driver of the vehicle.
The officer noted that Juarez had red bloodshot eyes, some loss of balance and was supporting himself with the vehicle.
“Officer Mendez stated Juarez admitted drinking earlier when asked if he had drank any alcohol,” the affidavit states.
The man, however, complained of chest pain and an ambulance was called for him, preventing the officer from administering a field sobriety test though officials later obtained a warrant for a blood draw, according to the charging document.
During the investigation, an off-duty Texas Department of Public Safety trooper arrived on scene and reported that he had seen the vehicle driving recklessly in speeds of excess of 80 mph and identified the Toyota as the same vehicle that ran the red light, authorities say.
The trooper also reported seeing several beer cans and several witnesses also provided statements saying Juarez ran the red light, hitting Quiroz’s vehicle, the probable cause affidavit states.
Juarez is scheduled to appear in court next week where he is expected to ask for a bond reduction, arguing his bonds are beyond his financial means.