Victims Identified After Crash Involving 3 Suspected Drunk Drivers – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

A Navy veteran and an elementary school teacher were identified as two people who died in a five-car crash north of downtown Dallas early on Sunday that police said involved three drunk drivers.

The crash happened shortly before 2:30 a.m. Sunday along the North Central Freeway near Fitzhugh Avenue.

The victims have been identified as Sergio Moriel, 31, and Melissa Aguilar, 27.

Two people suspected of drinking and driving remained in hospital on Monday, while a third driver was released from jail after posting $ 200 bail.

Dallas police have stepped up law enforcement, hoping to deter drunk driving accidents during the holiday season.

Aguilar’s aunt said she was passionate about teaching and the whole family was devastated by the news.

“We’re all numb,” said Sergio Moriel’s sister Antoinette Moriel. “He was right here with us on Thanksgiving.”

The close-knit family of Sweetwater, Texas could not have imagined this would be their last vacation with Sergio.

“We already have Christmas presents for him under the tree,” Antoinette said. “It’s going to be so hard.”

She said her brother loved fishing, her parents, her two sisters and her uncle.

“He just started his business doing Airbnb. He bought two houses, he was in the Navy, he was really good, ”Moriel said. “It doesn’t make any sense how his time ended like this. He had so many reasons to live.

Sergio Moriel had dated Aguilar, his sister said.

The couple were killed, police said, in a five-car crash with three drunk drivers.

“It’s ridiculous,” Antoinette Moriel said.

According to Dallas Police, the victim’s car broke down in a lane along the freeway and was subsequently struck by Marsalis Brown, 31. Brown was charged with two counts of manslaughter while intoxicated.

Police said two other drivers were involved in the crash at the time and were also driving under the influence: Jose Salazar-Reza, 28, and Grayson Tsai Meu Chong, 24, are both charged with DWI.

Authorities were unable to provide a photo ID of Brown and Reza as they were still hospitalized.

Chong, who has no previous history, was released from prison after posting a $ 200 bond on Sunday night.

“For me, this is one of those failures of our society as a society where people don’t take seriously how dangerous it is to drive while intoxicated,” said the deputy head of the city. Dallas Police, Albert Martinez. “This is a great example of where there is danger and your inability to make changes or decisions quickly enough to avoid it is the cause of it. “

Martinez said impaired drivers have traditionally not been able to react quickly and safely when there is a hazard on the road, as was the case in this case given the broken down car.

Dallas Police have activated the “Home for the Holidays” program – an enforcement effort intensified throughout the New Year in areas with a high number of DWI offenses and impaired driving incidents .

Martinez said patrols went out early Sunday morning and responded to the crash site.

He said the ministry wanted to process suspects more quickly in order to get the eight officers dedicated to the program back to the streets as soon as possible.

“Through my discussions with Chief (Eddie) Garcia, my goal is to increase our DWI presence as well as make sure they have the right equipment,” he said.

The Dallas Police Department offered tips for driving during the holiday season:

If you are planning on going out and drinking, please consider the tips below –

  • Always have a designated driver
  • Call a taxi or download a rideshare app on your phone
  • If you are visiting a friend or relative, spend the night
  • Never get into a vehicle with someone who has been drinking
  • Consider drinking non-alcoholic drinks
  • Take the keys away from those who have been drinking
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can result in significant financial costs, legal fees, potential medical bills, increased insurance premiums, property damage, jail time and loss of life .

“You risk taking everything from someone,” said Antoinette Moriel in tears. “You can’t replace someone. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. All we have are just pictures of him.

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