A Bacliff woman accused of killing a Galveston woman and her child in a drunk-driving crash in Houston has pleaded guilty to intoxication manslaughter, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
Veronica Rivas, 22, agreed to serve 18 years in prison over the February 2018 crash that killed Shayla Joseph, 36, and her 3-month-old son, Braylan.
The crash happened on an Interstate 45 feeder road near El Dorado Boulevard in Houston on Feb. 28, 2018.
Joseph was an island native, a graduate of Ball High School and an employee at the University of Texas Medical Branch.
Rivas is accused of driving drunk on the night of the crash.
Prosecutors said Rivas and a 17-year-old friend had visited at least two bars in the hours before the crash.
Her car was going 90 mph when it crashed into Joseph’s car about 3:50 a.m., prosecutors said. Rivas was 20 at the time of the crash. Her blood alcohol level on the night of the crash measured 0.21, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08, police said.
She was not the only person charged in the crash.
In April 2018, prosecutors charged three people connected to the Crescent City Connection Sports & Oyster Bar in Clear Lake with purchasing or serving alcohol to Rivas and her friend before the crash. All three people were given deferred adjudication, according to Harris County court records.
Rivas is scheduled to be sentenced July 12, according to the district attorney’s office.