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KFOX14 obtains arrest affidavits for suspected drunk drivers

By: Bill Melugin
EL PASO, Texas -- The man suspected of driving while intoxicated and crashed into the back of a Suburban on North Loop was traveling at speeds between 70 and 100 mph, according to an arrest affidavit.

At about 4:26 p.m. Saturday Julian Tapia Jr, was driving a Ford F-150 on the 9300 block of North Loop. A witness according to the document, said Tapia was traveling at speeds between 70 and 100 mph.

At the same time a Suburban with a mother and her two kids; Patricia Esparza, Isabel and Pablo Hernandez, were traveling also on North Loop.

The two teenagers were in the rear cargo area of the Suburban where no seat belts were available.

The Suburban was struck from behind causing it to crash into a rock wall. The crash killed Pablo Hernandez.

The police document stated a witness at the scene told police Tapia admitted to them that he had been drinking and speeding before the crash happened.

An officer at the crash site stated in the affidavit, that Tapia appeared intoxicated but was unable to conduct a sobriety test because he was taken to the hospital for his injuries.

Tapia provided police investigators at the hospital a blood, which was sent to the Department of Public Safety for analysis.

Hernandez's sister suffered blunt force injuries and is listed in critical condition and remains hospitalized, stated the affidavit.

Tapia was released from the hospital, police said they arrested him and charged him with intoxication manslaughter.

Tapia was booked Monday into the El Paso County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

Police say the investigation is ongoing and they expect additional charges filed against Tapia.

The arrest affidavit for the driver who killed another man in a wrong-way crash on I-10 was obtained by KFOX14.

According to the police record, Larry Phillip Otero had a blood alcohol level of .16.

Otero is accused of killing 29-year-old Gabriel Morales after his car struck Morales' vehicle head-on on Interstate 10 East near Zaragoza on Nov. 14.

The affidavit states Otero drove westbound on the inside lane before crashing into Morales.

A witness spotted Otero crawling out of the driver's side of the vehicle, according to the document.

Two months after the crash, Otero was booked on a single charge of intoxication manslaughter.

His bond was set at $50,000. According to jail records, Otero was released on bond the same day he was booked.

El Paso police told KFOX14 the reason why it took so much longer to identify and arrest Otero was because he was being treated in the hospital for injuries as a result of the collision.

A friend of the Hernandez family told KFOX14 that Isabel's condition is improving, and that her lungs are beginning to heal on their own.

The DUI-related deaths have many KFOX14 viewers sounding off on the station Facebook page.

"Both should be charged with premeditated murder! Knowingly driving drunk should be premeditated murder! Prayers to all the family and friends involved," Kelsey said.

"How long has the dangers of drinking and driving been public? There is NO excuse. Create a charge of intoxicated murder. Take away their license for life!" said Robert.

"People, please, there are other ways to get home. Please be careful out there. May Gabriel Morales and Pablo Hernandez rest in peace. Don't drink and drive," said Atara.

 

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