Charges against driver to be upgraded after 1 of 3 crash victims declared brain dead

HOUSTON – Charges against a driver arrested after a crash earlier this week in northwest Harris County are expected to be upgraded Wednesday after one of the victims was declared brain dead.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said in a tweet that 26-year-old Zachary Castro now faces an intoxication manslaughter charge in connection with Monday’s crash on Barker Cypress Road near Coventry Park Drive. He also faces two counts of intoxication assault.

According to investigators, Castro admitted to being impaired after his pickup plowed into a group of good Samaritans who had stopped to help a disabled vehicle.

Investigators said the group was in the roadway since there is no shoulder and had their hazard lights activated. Castro attempted to pass the vehicles but ended up hitting three of the good Samaritans who were standing outside their cars.

Gonzalez said Wednesday that one of the victims, 23-year-old Mayra Ospina, was declared brain dead. A GoFundMe account was set up to raise funds for her funeral. Mayra’s boyfriend, Luis Ramirez was also injured and is recovering in the hospital. A GoFundMe account was set up to help cover his medical expenses.

Castro was in court Wednesday morning in connection with the case. Prosecutors said Castro admitted to taking four shots of alcohol prior to the crash. Ospina is expected to soon be taken off a respirator, and Castro’s charges will be upgraded when she dies.

The judge raised Castro’s bail to $25,000 for each of the three people hit.

One other good Samaritan was taken to a nearby hospital after the crash and is expected to recover from their injuries.

About the Authors: