A Texas mother is facing murder charges after allegedly driving while intoxicated and crashing her car into a concrete barrier, killing her 3-year-old son and severely injuring another son.
Cristal Gonzalez, 26, of Houston, was arrested on Saturday and charged with felony murder and intoxication assault, the Houston Police Department says in a news release.
The crash took place after Gonzalez picked up her children from their father’s house early Saturday morning, the Houston Chronicle reports.
She was allegedly driving a Toyota Camry at a high rate of speed when she drove onto a raised concrete and grassy median at about 5:10 a.m., say police in the release.
She lost control of the car and crashed into a concrete barrier, say police.
Her sons, DeAngelo Maldonado, 3, and Christopher Maldonado, 8, were in the back seat of the car.
Investigators believe the 3-year-old may have been incorrectly strapped into his car seat or was in the wrong size seat, Houston Police Department Sgt. Thomas Fendia told local station Click2 Houston.
The boys were rushed to a local hospital where DeAngelo was pronounced dead.
His brother’s leg was broken in the crash, say police. He is expected to survive.
Gonzalez was also rushed to the hospital, where she was listed in critical but stable condition, the Houston Chronicle reports.
She was allegedly highly intoxicated, with a blood alcohol level 3 times over the legal limit, KHOU reports.
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“There was a strong odor of alcohol in the car,” Fendia told Click2 Houston. “She actually did throw up, and there were some pills in there also.”
She underwent surgery for a chest injury, KHOU reports.
It is unclear whether she has entered a plea or if she has retained an attorney who can speak on her behalf.
“Getting intoxicated and driving is just not an option,” Sean Teare, chief of the Harris County District Attorney’s vehicular crimes division, told the Houston Chronicle. “Hopefully this is the one that wakes more people up.”
Family members have set up a GoFundMe to help with funeral and hospital expenses.