Family, friends react after 4 people killed in major crash involving suspected drunk driver

Two children were among the four victims, according to police.

GALVESTON – A horrific crash is under investigation in Galveston after a suspected drunk driver slammed into a golf cart killing four people and leaving two victims fighting for their lives in the hospital.

Forty-five-year-old Miguel Espinoza, the man who police say caused the crash, has been charged with four counts of intoxication manslaughter. He is currently under police custody.

Balloons, flowers, and teddy bears now sit at the intersection of R Avenue and 33rd street in Galveston. The growing memorial is for the victims.

Joshua Alvarez is a friend of the family and paid his respects.

“Both of my friends lost literally a son, a nephew, a cousin, and a dad. I can’t image losing that much all at once it’s a lot,” he said.

RELATED: All 4 victims, including 2 children, identified after drunk driver slams into golf cart at Galveston intersection, police say

According to Galveston police, Espinoza was driving eastbound in a Hyundai SUV on R Avenue. Investigators said he failed to stop at the intersection, hitting a golf cart that was traveling northbound and a Dodge pickup truck traveling southbound.

Six people, including three children, were in the golf cart at the time of the crash. One adult passenger died at the scene, while the rest were taken to an area hospital where a second adult passenger and two children later died. A third passenger and a child remain in critical condition.

I heard a big boom and it shook my whole house and broke the downstairs window. I looked out the window and all I seen was gruesome,” Kimberly Ruiz said.

Ruiz said she rushed to help the victims until police arrived.

“It was hard, it was hard,” she said. “I cried all night long because I have four kids of my own.”

Police say two separate families were on the golf cart and they were related.

“It’s surreal. Can’t believe that this happened,” Sylvia Martinez said.

Martinez and Minnie Villaloboz are family members of the victims. They said the tragedy hasn’t hit yet.

“It’s going to take time to heal,” Villaloboz said.

The families were driving a rental golf cart.

Mayor Craig Brown says golf cart safety measures and concerns will be addressed at Thursday’s city council meeting.

“We are seeing more and more golf carts on the island that are on the streets that they are not designed to be on because of the speed limit. We are seeing golf carts with too many people in the golf carts, and we are seeing numerous golf carts with children wearing no seat belts,” he said.

As of Sunday night, police have not yet released the identities of the victims.

The driver of a black Dodge pickup truck and a child passenger were treated with minor injuries and were later released, according to police.

Police says Espinoza had a passenger in the car who was treated and released.

Espinoza is charged with four counts of intoxication manslaughter and is booked in Galveston County Jail under a $400,000 bond. More charges could be pending for the suspect.

About the Authors:

A graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown, Ana moved to H-Town from sunny southern California in 2015. In 2020, she joined the KPRC 2 digital team as an intern. Ana is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, a catmom of 2, and an aquarium enthusiast. In her spare time, she's an avid video gamer and loves to travel.

Emmy award winning journalist born and raised in Alabama. College football fanatic and snow cone lover! Passionate about connecting with the community to find stories that matter.