Woman charged in deadly crash makes first court appearance

By Gianna Caserta - Reporter, Kelci Johnston - News Producer, Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

HOUSTON - A woman arrested in connection with a crash that killed three teenagers faced a judge for the first time Sunday night.

Raquel Vasquez-Hernandez is charged with several counts of failure to stop and render aid.

For the first time we are learning a little bit more about Vasquez-Hernandez. She has two children and told her estranged husband she thought of her kids after the accident and that is why she ran.

Hernandez sits in jail after being accused of running from an accident that killed three teenagers and sent three more to the hospital as they were leaving a graduation party. She faced a judge for the first time overnight.

Hernandez asked the court to contact the Mexican consulate. Local 2 spoke exclusively with her estranged husband who says she called him after the accident.

"She called about our children to make sure they are fed, take them to school, being a dad," said Jose Maravilla.

Hernandez is charged with four counts of failure to stop and render aid. Police say she was driving a Chrysler 300 when she ran a red light at the South Loop frontage road and Woodridge Drive, slamming into a small Chevy Cavalier before fleeing the scene.

Six teenagers were in the Cavalier, on their way home from a graduation party.

The youngest victim was 14-year-old Carlos Cisneros-Zurita. His parents said they knew something was wrong when he didn't come home.

"One o'clock passed, then we thought that maybe he would come at 2 or 3 he would come, because sometimes time passes, [...] but then 5 came and he never came," said Carlos Cisneros, the victim's father.

Allyssa Munoz, 19, and her 15-year-old brother Brett Suarez, also died at the scene.

Kristen Suarez, 17, was also in the car, but she survived.  She and two other teens were rushed to the hospital following the crash.

Maravilla says Hernandez told him her brakes failed.

"She told me she had problems with the car, her car failed her that's all she told me," Maravilla said.

Her husband says she ran out of fear of being deported and losing her two kids.

"The only thing she told me was that she panicked and she thought of her kids because she doesn't have a driver's license and papers and she though if she was deported, her kids would be left alone and that is why she left," said Maravilla said.

Houston police says there was a passenger in the car with Hernandez. They are still looking for that person.

The DA's office says Hernandez's aunt reported her to police after she allegedly admitted to being involved in the crime. According to the DA's office, police say they arrived to find Hernandez hiding in the bathroom and that she had a shoulder/neck injury consistent with a seat belt injury.

According to police, Hernandez told them she left the scene because she was scared and had outstanding traffic tickets.

Hernandez, 23, is being held without bond.

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