65ºF

Suspected drunk driver and woman die in head-on crash; toddler hospitalized with broken bones, sheriff says

HIGHLANDS, Texas – A head-on crash in Highlands, Texas, left two adults dead and a toddler hospitalized with broken bones Thursday, Harris County sheriff’s deputies said.

Investigators said two Chevy Silverado trucks collided head-on in the 1700 block of South Main Street around 9:51 p.m. Both drivers, a man and a 32-year-old woman, died at the scene, deputies said.

“It’s a new year and sadly it’s the same story,” Sean Teare, with the Harris County District Attorney’s Vehicular Crimes Task Force said.

Deputies said although the little girl was properly secured in the vehicle with the woman, who is her mother, she suffered at least three broken limbs. She is now in stable condition, deputies said.

“The 2-year-old was taken to the hospital in very serious condition and she did sustain broken bones her to arms and legs and also a serious head laceration, but she is stable. Thankfully, being properly restrained and in a car seat, frankly, saved her life,” said Sheriff Gonzalez.

According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, the victim was identified as 32-year-old Claudia Santillan. Vincente Aguilar has been identified as the suspected drunk driver.

“Alcohol was found in the car. We have a number of other leads that we are looking at right now it’s not pointing to an establishment that he was drinking at it looks like it might be a private residence,” Sean Teare said.

“This continues to be a serious problem,” Sheriff Gonzalez said. “What’s tragic about this is all of these cases are preventable.”

Gonzalez said the woman was wearing her seatbelt during the crash, but the man did not.

Investigators said they believe the man driver may have been drunk at the time of the crash because he smelled like alcohol.

“The male got behind the wheel and put not only himself in danger, but other people. He ruined not only that person’s life, but others that surrounded her,” Gonzalez said.

Investigators say they will continue investigating the crash and try to figure out where Aguilar started drinking.

“That poor two year old doesn’t have a mom it’s going to have to go through so much rehabilitation but at the end of the day it’s never going to have its mother and it was completely avoidable,” Sean Teare said.