Woman in deadly drunken driving crash takes plea deal, sentenced to 18 years in prison

HOUSTON – A woman who pleaded guilty to a deadly drunken driving crash learned her fate Friday morning. 

Veronica Rivas accepted a plea deal for intoxication manslaughter charges and will spend 18 years in prison. The maximum sentence could have been 20 years.

The punishment comes more than a year after the crash killed a mother and her 3-month-old son. In February 2018, investigators said Rivas was driving 90 mph on a feeder road on the Gulf Freeway when she crashed into the vehicle, killing Shayla Joseph and her son Braylan.

The widow and father of the victims in the crash, Bryan Joseph, took the stand before the sentencing was handed down to talk about what this tragedy cost him and his family. He said he now has a YouTube page under his name to educate others about the dangers of driving drunk.