Opening arguments are set for today in the trial of a League City woman accused of driving with a blood alcohol content more than three times the legal limit in an April 2017 car crash that killed an 8-year-old girl.

Erika Diebel, 42, is charged with intoxication manslaughter with a vehicle and manslaughter in connection with the death of Kelsey Nalepa.

The crash occurred as Diebel was driving a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee east in the 2600 block of West Main Street, police said.

Eastbound traffic was stopped in that block, and a 2001 Ford Expedition was stopped directly in front of Diebel’s vehicle, police said. Diebel drove her Jeep into the back of the Expedition, seriously injuring Nalepa, police said.

Nalepa was flown to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston for treatment. She was pronounced dead April 8, 2017.

Diebel consented to a blood-alcohol test and was taken to a University of Texas Medical Branch clinic in League City, where she gave the sample, according to an arrest affidavit.

The alcohol content report from the Texas Department of Public Safety crime laboratory showed Diebel had a blood alcohol content of 0.249 grams per 100 milliliters of blood, according to the arrest affidavit. The legal limit is 0.08.

No one else was injured in the crash.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230;



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