Recently, two children from Irving, Texas were killed in a vehicle crash caused by drunk driving. The tragic twist: the intoxicated person behind the wheel was their own mother.
Crystal Suniga, 30 years old, was driving her 2003 Honda Pilot SUV on a Saturday evening, near Gilbert Elementary School, when she lost control of her car. The SUV then slammed into two cars that were parked in the driveway of a nearby home, before rolling over onto its side and coming to rest against the house.
At the time, Suniga was transporting her four children, who were between the ages 10 and 16 years old. Two of her sons, ages 10 and 14, became pinned under the SUV and ended up dying at the scene of the accident. Her other two children, a 16-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter, were taken to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. The 16-year old reportedly suffered serious injuries, while the 12-year old’s injuries were considered to be minor. Suniga suffered only minor injuries.
Police at the scene believe that Suniga’s intoxication led her to drive at excessive speeds, causing the crash. Suniga’s blood alcohol level was measured at 0.18, or more than twice the legal limit. Investigators believe that she may have driven as fast as three times the legal speed limit. She was arrested at the hospital and booked into the Dallas County Jail. So far no bond has been set. Suniga has been charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter, two counts of child injury, and one count of intoxication assault.
Not surprisingly, Suniga is said to regret her actions. She reportedly told one police officer: “I deserve to be punished.” Suniga’s excessive speed was allegedly due to her trying to chase after her boyfriend, with whom she had been fighting earlier. Before that, she had allegedly drunk five Mojito mixed drinks at her mother’s house, one mile from the crash site. Suniga then allegedly told the police officer that she was “buzzed” when she left the house, though Suniga’s mother denies that she was drunk or that she had been fighting with her boyfriend.
Regardless, it is a tragic situation for all involved. It is bad enough when a family loses loved ones due to another driver’s bad decisions, but even worse when a family member is the one at fault. Usually in these types of situations, in addition to the criminal charges, the loved ones might file a wrongful death lawsuit against the other driver. They would argue that the other driver breached his or her duty to drive reasonably, and that their loved one’s death was directly or proximately caused by the breach. Of course in this situation, the circumstances are different.
If you or a loved one has suffered due to an injury in a car accident caused by another driver, you may be entitled to compensation, including medical expenses, loss of wages, and pain and suffering. The experienced San Antonio personal injury attorneys at Carabin & Shaw may be able to help. Call our office for more information at 1-800-862-1260.