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Driver in boat crash charged with murder, intoxication assault

HOUSTON – A body was recovered Tuesday where a boater went missing after a crash on the San Jacinto River that happened over the weekend.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said in a tweet that the body is believed to be that of a man who went overboard Sunday when a boat hit a bulkhead at full speed near 18908 Sandridge Court.

“(We are) always relieved that we can find a body because at least the family can have a proper burial," Gonzalez said. 'That’s always our focus."

Texas Game Wardens patrolling the San Jacinto River found the body close to the bank at about 6:30 Tuesday about 200 to 300 yards from where the boat crashed.

"The officers that made the recovery observed some trauma that was visible,” said Captain Eric Minter with the Texas Parks and Wildlife. “The description fits the person that we’re looking for. It is still an ongoing investigation - criminal investigation - so we’re still working closely with the (Harris County Sheriff's Office) and the Harris County district attorney’s office to determine what the next steps are, as far as possible charges to follow,” 

Prosecutors said surveillance video showed the boat speeding down the river just before the crash.

The boat's driver, Galan Ruiz, 41, has been charged with felony murder and intoxication assault. Authorities said Ruiz has two previous DWI convictions.

Ruiz and his girlfriend were injured in the crash. Both remain in the hospital in stable condition, authorities said.

The medical examiner's office had not yet confirmed the victim's identity.


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