Texas Man Charged With Murder Over Drunken Car Wreck That Killed 11-Year-Old Daughter

Prosecutors claim that Jorge Ledezma Echavarria’s blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit when he caused the collision that claimed his daughter’s life and left his wife injured and his son in a coma.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

A man in Texas has been charged with murder after allegedly driving while intoxicated on New Year's Eve and causing a car crash that left his young daughter dead and the rest of his family gravely injured.

Jorge Ledezma Echavarria was driving his SUV eastbound on the Crosby Freeway on December 31 at around 8:30 p.m. when he ignored a “traffic control device,” entered into an intersection, and collided with another vehicle heading north, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release issued Wednesday.

His 11-year-old daughter, Vanessa Ledezma, was seated in the rear seat on the passenger’s side during the collision, and was pronounced dead after being airlifted to the Memorial Hermann Hospital, according to the release. Ledezma was also transported to the hospital, where, officials say, he showed signs of “impairment,” prompting authorities to arrest him on a felony murder charge.

Ledezma's wife and 15-year-old son were also in the vehicle during the accident, Houston’s KPRC reports. His wife suffered two fractures in her pelvis and other internal injuries, while his son experienced bleeding of the brain and is currently in a coma, according to the outlet. Ledezma has been charged with intoxication assault in relation to the injuries his wife and son sustained, Sean Teare, vehicular crimes chief with the Harris County District Attorney's Office, said, according to KPRC.

Prosecutors claimed during a probable cause hearing that Ledezma's blood alcohol content was .20 when he was tested at the hospital following the deadly crash, Houston outlet KTRK-TV reports. That’s more than twice the legal limit of .08 in Texas. If either his wife or son pass away in the coming days, prosecutors have said that Ledezma will see his charges upped, according to the outlet.

A judge has set Ledezma's bond at $200,000, KPRC reports. He is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 13, online records show.

[Photo: Harris County Sheriff’s Office]

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