GALVESTON – Galveston police have released the identities of the four victims, including two children who were killed after a suspected drunk driver slammed into a golf cart they were riding in late Saturday night.
Police said Felipe Bentancur, 49, and Destiny Uvalle, 25, were two of the adult victims identified in the crash. The minor victims were identified as 14-year-old Brailyn Cantu, and the youngest, 4-year-old Kaisyn Bentancur.
Two additional victims from the golf cart remain in the hospital in critical condition, according to police.
A suspected drunk driver is in custody after four people, including two children, were injured after a major crash involving multiple vehicles and a golf cart at a Galveston intersection on Saturday night, Galveston police said.
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. Espinoza appeared before a judge Monday where he learned of the charges against him and was appointed an attorney.
The crash occurred at the intersection of Avenue R and 33rd Street at around 11:30 p.m.
According to Galveston PD in a release, a black-colored Hyundai SUV was on the eastbound side of Avenue R when Espinoza was driving eastbound in a Hyundai SUV on R Avenue. Investigators said he failed to stop at the intersection, striking a golf cart and a pickup truck 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.
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 say Espinoza had a passenger in the car who was treated and released.
“We knew that these golf carts were becoming more and more frequent on our roads,” said Galveston Mayor Craig Brown. “We have had other reports of accidents and so forth with golf carts but nothing to this extent.”
Galveston Mayor Craig Brown said while the golf cart involved in Saturday’s crash was being used in accordance with the city’s ordinance, the city council is considering possible changes to the ordinance. He said the council members may discuss ways of making the roads safer for golf carts, which are legal on certain roads and have become more popular with visitors renting them.
“City council is going to be looking this coming Thursday to possibly be making changes to our ordinance that may give more constraints and better safety for our visitors here. It’s possible that we would be looking at possibly not having golf carts during the evening hours or at night time being able to operate. So we’re just going to look at all aspects of this,” Mayor Brown said.
To read the current colt cart ordinance click here: https://www.galvestontx.gov/Faq.aspx?QID=172