Texas Drunk Driver Kills One Teen, Injures Another After Prom

Due to events that happened last weekend, two Texas families are having to deal with the unthinkable consequences when a Texas drunk driver chose to get behind the wheel and drive on a Texas highway. As a result of that decision, one teen girl is dead and a teen boy was severely injured as they were coming home from their prom.

According to Houston Police, there was a horrible crash happened around 1 a.m. Saturday morning on the North Freeway feeder road near East Tidwell Road. The entire crash was witnessed by a special ops DWI unit with HPD. They saw the driver of a pickup truck, later identified as Edin Palacios-Rodas, run through a red light at the intersection, slamming into a Dodge Charger with two teen occupants. The teens had just left an IHOP restaurant, where they had gone to get something to eat just after their high school prom. Witnesses described the crash as ‘sounding like a boom.”

When HPD officers tried to pull over the pickup, Palacios-Rodas allegedly tried to take off, making several u-turns and driving over curbs at a high rate of speed. Police then chased him through several parking lots and dangerously close to people. Finally, they caught up to him. He was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries and he now faces charges of DUI, murder and evading arrest.

As a result of the crash, the teen girl in the Charger, later identified as Jocelynn Valero, was pronounced dead at the scene, while her prom date, who has not been officially identified, was transported to a local hospital, where he is currently said to be recovering after surgery. The nature of his injuries has not been disclosed.

Two families have seen their lives turned upside down, possibly due to someone’s decision to get behind the wheel while under the influence. Drunk driving has been a major problem throughout Texas for quite some time. According to statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation (TX-DOT), in 2013 there were 25,158 accidents involving DUI statewide, resulting in 8,702 serious injuries and 1,022 deaths.

When someone chooses to drink too much and then operate a motor vehicle, that person has made a bad choice; one that places everyone on the road at greater risk, including people who are just trying to enjoy themselves and live their lives. What many people don’t realize is that, while the driver is certainly at fault in such a tragedy, other people may have been negligent in that decision-making process as well, such as a bartender who decided to serve the driver too much alcohol or someone else who may have been in the position to keep him from getting behind the wheel. In all cases such as these, a thorough investigation will have to be conducted, and a number of factors will need to be considered. The victim who survived may have injuries that change his life in some way and the families of both victims should not have to go through all of this alone.

The Texas Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer at the Hill Law Firm is among the most skilled in Texas when it comes to representing victims of drunk drivers. If you or a loved one have been injured or killed by a drunk driver, please contact us today for a free consultation, so that we can help you take the steps necessary to protect your rights.

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