Girl, 11, Killed in Crash After Dad Allegedly Drives Drunk — and Now He's Charged With Murder
4th January 2019

A Texas father is charged with murder in the death of his 11-year-old daughter after he allegedly drove drunk on New Year’s Eve and crashed into another vehicle, PEOPLE confirms.

Jorge Ledezma Echavarria, 33, is also charged with two counts of intoxication assault after his wife and son were also injured in the crash, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Authorities say Echavarria was driving his blue 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe eastbound around 8:30 p.m. when he ran a red light in a busy intersection at Highway 90 and Beltway 8 and collided with another SUV. (PEOPLE obtained a release from the Harris County sheriff’s office and a copy of the criminal complaint against Echavarria.)

Echavarria’s 11-year-old daughter Vanessa was seated in the passenger’s side rear seat during the collision and was transported to the hospital after the crash, where she died.

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According to KHOU, the girl’s mother sustained a broken pelvis and internal injuries in the crash. Her son suffered bleeding on his brain.

Sean Teare, head of the Vehicular Crimes Division at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, said both were not “out of the woods,” according to the station.

Teare told the Chronicle that authorities noticed that Echavarria allegedly had slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol at the hospital’s emergency room.

According to KTRK, Echavarria had a blood alcohol content of .20, nearly three times above the legal limit.

Vanessa’s neighbor Renee Chrisman told KHOU that the little girl was “full of life.”

“Full of life, big personality, precious child, I’m heart broken,” she said.

Echavarria is currently being held at the Harris County Jail on a $200,000 bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for February 13. He has not yet entered a plea.

His attorney, Mario Madrid, tells PEOPLE, “It is a sad case, sad circumstance. He is crushed. There is nothing positive in it. Everyone who is close to him is either in the hospital or passed away and he is facing possibly years in prison.”

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