A Texas man accused of causing a fatal car accident that killed a young mother allegedly had 12 drinks before he got behind the wheel, according to multiple reports.
Taylor Phillips, 23, was killed Sunday night after Erick Hernandez, 19, allegedly crashed into her SUV. Hernandez allegedly crossed three lanes of traffic while driving drunk before the collision, the Houston Chronicle and local stations KPRC and ABC13 report.
Hernandez has been charged with intoxication manslaughter, the outlets report.
On Wednesday, prosecutors allegedly said a video from inside a bar showed Hernandez consuming 12 drinks, including three tequila shots, over the course of six hours before getting into his truck and driving off. He was allegedly never asked for his ID despite being underage.
Five employees of the bar— four bartenders and one manager — were arrested for allegedly serving the teenager alcohol. Court documents obtained by the outlets show the bar allegedly did not have a liquor license and was only allowed to serve beer and wine.
“Literally one minute after he left (the bar), he took the life of Ms. Phillips,” said Sean Teare, Chief of the Vehicular Crimes Division in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, KPRC reports. “Right now there are Christmas presents under a tree for a mother who will never open them, a child who will never know his mother because of the irresponsible actions of all six individuals charged in this tragedy.”
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Philips’s mother, Carmen Rainer, told ABC13 on the night of the crash, Philips, her mother and her 1-year-old son, Mason, were driving home after a weekend of visiting family in New Orleans. They were five minutes from home.
“The greatest thing she’s ever done was have that baby. She loved him. She was the best mother ever. She cherished him. She did everything she could for him,” Rainer said. “The drunk driver came out of nowhere. We didn’t see him until he was right up on us.”
Rainer said that after the crash, she lost consciousness briefly before assessing the horrific scene.
“I was out for a minute, but the baby crying woke me up,” Rainer told the station. “I saw smoke and tried to get out of my seatbelt and open the door. I tried to get my grandson out. He was stuck under her and I couldn’t get him out. People weren’t stopping to help. I had to go into the street to wave my arms because they wouldn’t stop. It took three men to get Mason from under her. His leg was stuck under her. I had to move her, and that’s when I realized she was gone.”
Hernandez appeared in court on Wednesday and is out of jail on a $30,000 bond. It is unclear whether he has an attorney. He has not entered a plea.
A GoFundMe page has been started to help support Mason. As of Friday, it has raised more than $3,000 of its $5,000 goal.
“This family should be celebrating the holiday, but is instead planning a funeral,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said, KPRC reports. “This tragedy should never have happened.”