TABC investigation underway following deadly Thanksgiving hit-and-run

El Paso News
It’s been nearly one month since Amanda Weyant Ferguson was killed in a hit-and-run off Cincinnati and Mesa. As we approach the Christmas holiday weekend, Ferguson’s father talked to KTSM about the moments before the driver got behind the wheel and reminds those going out that it’s better to be safe than sorry.
 
“I have a closet full of Christmas presents that I can’t wrap. This guy not only killed my daughter, he killed my whole family. He killed the holiday season, he killed everything for us,” Ferguson shared.
 
Ferguson also acknowledged Joel Velazquez’ record before the night of the hit-and-run, including him being an illegal immigrant. 
 
“It’s a tragedy that should’ve been prevented many many times,” he said. “It should’ve been prevented in 2017 when they released him without having the ICE agents hold him.”
 
According to the spokesman with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Chris Porter, an investigation was opened on November 27th following the hit-and-run fatality involving alcohol.
 
Velazquez told police investigators he had “five to six beers” at Cantina Malolam in the Montecillo Shopping District before he got behind the wheel. Meanwhile, Ferguson said there’s many questions he wants answers for.
 
“There’s a lot of things that could’ve been prevented that could’ve stopped this tragedy. I’d like to know how a person who’s here illegally is working in the bar. They have to have a social security card in order to get a paycheck. If he has one of those he got it illegally or the bar was just paying him with cash and knew he was here illegally. There’s a lot of questions that are out there but hopefully my attorneys and the city of El Paso will find an answer for those questions,” Ferguson explained. 
 
As people prepare to celebrate the Christmas holiday season, Ferguson shared the painful truth of the consequences you could face while drinking and driving.
 
“It kills everybody. Get an Uber or get a friend. My daughter was the safe driver for that night. She was the one that was supposed to be the safe person, so even that you’ve got to be careful,” Ferguson shared. 
 
KTSM reached out to Malolam, which had no comment on this month-long investigation. TABC still has a few weeks to conclude the investigation.

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