Alleged DWI driver charged in serious Loop 375 collision
POSTED: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - 2:54pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 7:37am
El Paso, TX (KTSM) — El Paso Police have identified and charged the man they allege drove drunk and crashed into a group of motorists attempting to change a tire on Loop 375 North near Vista Del Sol early Monday morning.
EPPD Special Traffic Investigations Unit have charged George Adrian Espinoza with two counts of Intoxicated Assault Causing Bodily Injury after they say that he drove while intoxicated and crashed into a 1992 Ford F-150 that had a flat tire and a 2003 Nissan that stopped to help the 1992 Ford in the emergency lane of Loop 375.
The collision sent Armando Armas, 36, of San Elizario, TX, and Joshua Lara, 30, of San Elizario, TX to the hospital with injuries and 33-year-old Jessica Castaneda of El Paso, TX to the hospital with very severe injuries to her legs.
News Channel 9 has obtained the arrest affidavit. It states that the motorists were in the shoulder with their hazard lights on at the time of the crash. It goes on to say Castaneda was sitting on the cement barrier and was pinned between that barrier and the Nissan. As a result of the crash, both of her legs had to be amputated below the knee. She also has a pelvis fracture, hip displacement and had to have surgery to remove her spleen.
El Paso police said when they met with Espinosa at the hospital he had blood shot eyes, slurred speech and smelled of alcohol. The arrest affidavit states that he told police he had 4 to 5 beers before leaving his house to drive to the far eastside by the Jail Annex to visit his ex-wife. He told police he was in the right lane at the time of the crash and tried to move over but couldn’t because there was a car in the way. Police said surveillance video from a nearby business showed there were no other vehicles on the road at the time.
During the course of assisting the three people who were injured along Loop 375, a 15-year EPFD veteran, Lt. Rafael Navarrete, fell 20 feet off of Loop 375 and sustained serious injuries to his face. Navarrete underwent surgery Tuesday for his injuries.
No word on the current medical condition of Armas, Lara and Castaneda.
A spokesman with the El Paso Police Department confirmed that the two counts of Intoxicated Assault against Espinoza are for Castaneda and one of the men who were seriously injured in the actual crash. Esponiza will not be facing additional charges for the injury sustained by the firefighter while responding to the crash.
Espinoza was booked into the El Paso County Detention Facility on bonds totaling $400,000.