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Woman charged in crash that killed mother, baby had .21 BAC, prosecutors say

HOUSTON – A woman arrested in connection with a crash that killed a mother and her baby this week appeared in court Friday.

Veronica Rivas, 20, was charged with intoxication manslaughter in the 4 a.m. Wednesday crash on the Gulf Freeway feeder road at El Dorado Boulevard.

Prosecutors said Friday Rivas had a blood alcohol content level of .21, which is approximately three times the legal limit.

Police said Rivas’ SUV slammed into the back of a car being driven by Shayla Joseph, 36. The crash killed Joseph and her 3-month-old child.

A passenger in Rivas’ vehicle was also injured.

Rivas' face was covered by the hand of one woman who accompanied her as she walked into the courthouse Friday morning. Another woman who was with her held a blanket up to block Rivas face from the cameras.

“Not at this time,” one of the two women said. “Leave us alone, please.”

Rivas was ordered under house arrest. She will have to wear an ankle monitor and use a device that tests for alcohol. She also cannot drive.

Prosecutors said Rivas left an establishment that served alcohol before the crash but did not reveal the name of the business. They said charges could be filed against the establishment.

"We have issued subpoenas and search warrants," Sean Teare, the prosecutor on the case. "We anticipate, if evidence is presented and we obtain evidence, that they were serving an underage person especially to the point of intoxication, we will seek some recourse within the law."

Rivas' attorney, Sam Adamo, said he is in the very early stages of the case.

"My client is a young lady in her 20s, no real criminal history of any kind and she’s terribly, terribly upset," Adamo said. "It’s very early, I can’t tell you what the evidence is in this case because don’t know.”

20-year-old Veronica Rivas walks into court covered by family members. She’s accused of driving drunk then hitting & killing a mother & infant with her car Wednesday morning off the Gulf Fwy. Full story here on Click2Houston: https://amp.click2houston.com/news/woman-accused-of-killing-mother-infant-in-drunken-driving-crash-expected-in-court

Posted by KPRC2 Jake Reiner on Friday, March 2, 2018

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