Driver in fatal crash charged with Intoxication Manslaughter

Local News
February 07 2021 06:00 pm

RIO GRANDE CITY, Texas – The female driver involved in a fatal crash on Saturday Feb. 8, 2020 was charged this morning with intoxication manslaughter. The driver, identified as 35-year-old Elia De La Cruz, was arraigned by Judge Basilio Villarreal and given the maximum bond of $50,000 for a second degree felony based on recommendations set by the State of Texas.

On Saturday February 8, 2020 just before 3:30 a.m., Rio Grande City Police officers responded to a major accident on W. Hwy 83 by the Rio Grande Growers CO-OP#1. When officers arrived, they noticed an SUV had rear ended a garbage truck and that two people were pinned inside the vehicle. Due to the extent of damages to the front end of the SUV, paramedics had to pull both the driver, identified as 35-year-old Elia De La Cruz, and passenger, 8-year-old Leah Marie Gonzalez, out through the center of the windshield. Both mother and daughter were immediately taken to Starr County Memorial Hospital to be treated for severe injuries.

At the hospital, Leah Marie Gonzalez passed away as a result of those injuries. Detectives also spoke with De La Cruz, who consented to a blood draw.

Based on the damage to the vehicle, investigators believe De La Cruz was traveling at a high rate of speed when she rear ended the garbage truck. Officers at the scene also detected a strong smell of alcohol coming from the SUV. Upon further inspection, investigators located two cans of beer inside in that SUV.

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