Two brothers face multiple charges after a collision early Friday that sent Liberty County Judge Craig McNair and his wife, Lisa McNair, to Memorial Hermann Hospital with serious injuries.
The men allegedly switched places in a cover-up.
Liberty County Sheriff's Capt. Ken DeFoor said the McNairs were headed home in the 800 block of County Road 603 around 12:15 a.m. Saturday, when a 2007 Ford Explorer swerved across the centerline and crashed head-on into their 2012 GMC vehicle. They were rushed to the hospital via Lifeflight helicopter.
Defoor said the driver of the Explorer, 17-year-old German Mata, didn't try to help the McNairs.
“He apparently called home and a vehicle, according to a witness, hurriedly came to scene, picked him up, dropped his brother off. And when law enforcement did arrive on the scene, his brother, Edgar, volunteered that he was actually the driver of the vehicle, which he was not,” Defoor said.
Accident investigators quickly determined that Edgar Mata had not been behind the wheel and police headed to the family's house, which was about a mile away from the scene of the accident.
They found German Mata brother in bed, and there was blood on his clothes. His injuries were minor and did not require treatment. Defoor said both brothers had been drinking.
Accident investigators determined German Mata's vehicle was equipped with flashing red and blue emergency lights mounted on the front bumper, similar to a police car. DeFoor said Craig McNair at first thought at first he'd collided with a patrol unit.
Edgar Mata,21, is charged with public intoxication and making a false report to a peace officer.
His younger brother, German Mata is charged with failure to stop and render aid, improper use of emergency lights and no Texas driver's license.
Craig McNair and his wife are still under observation at the hospital's trauma center. DeFoor said Craig McNair suffered mostly cuts and bruises.
Lisa McNair's injuries appear to be more serious. She suffered a broken leg and ribs. She underwent surgery over the weekend and may need more, according to DeFoor.