Father accused of driving drunk, crashing with kids in truck walks out during court appearance

HOUSTON – A man charged with murder and driving while intoxicated appeared in court Monday after a crash that left one man dead Sunday along Beltway 8, the Harris County sheriff's office said. 

Deputies were called just after 1 p.m. to the northbound feeder of West Road and Beltway 8.

Police said Elmer Quintanilla, 26, was driving along the 8900 block of West Sam Houston Parkway with his wife and three young children, ages 1, 5 and 6 years old, at a high rate of speed in a 2013 GMC Sierra pickup truck. Police said Quintanilla tried to exit the West Road Toll Plaza, but lost control and rear-ended a late model Acura.

The Acura rolled and struck a brick sign, deputies said. Investigators said the driver of the Acura was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to deputies, Quintanilla's truck also hit the vehicle of a woman who was exiting a church parking lot and three other vehicles. Police said the woman was taken to Cy-Fair Hospital. She was listed in stable condition.

WATCH: Elmer Quintanilla makes first court appearance after deadly Beltway 8 crash

Quintanilla, his wife and children were taken to a hospital. They were also listed in stable condition.

Quintanilla, who is not a U.S. citizen, according to court documents, was charged with driving while intoxicated with children under 15 years old in the vehicle and murder.

Quintanilla admitted to having a beer and driving at least 90 mph, investigators said. Deputies said he had watery eyes and smelled of alcohol at the time of the crash.

During his court appearance Sunday, Quintanilla refused the assistance of a public defender and walked away from the judge in the middle of the hearing.

The judge continued proceedings and set Quintanilla's bond at $150,000.


The victim's identity has not been released.

The crash remains under investigation.

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